New Fitness Suite for Churston, Thanks to the PTA

Thanks to a generous donation from the PTA, we were delighted to officially open the newly furbished fitness suite in the Autumn term, 2021.

Sam Knapman was joined by Headteacher Kieran Earley, Head of PE Martin Swannell and some of our Year 11 Sports Leaders to open the doors to our fantastic new facility in October.

The impressive new facility replaces the existing equipment and will be used by students within lessons and as part of the wider extra curricular programme, in order to provide our students and staff a purpose-designed space in which to exercise.

Our new facilities are proving extremely popular among all students, who are able to use the room from Year 9 to 13. The impressive new facility in designed to ensure that Churston continues to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for all of our students.  

Head of PE, Martin Swannell, said “we are incredibly grateful to the PTA for their donation. This facility will help support our curriculum and further encourage our students to follow a healthy, active lifestyle within a familiar, safe and non competitive environment.”

The range of equipment includes:

  • Refurbished fitness suite with professional gym flooring and mirrored walls.
  • Enhanced audiovisual system, including sound system and live-linked monitor.
  • A collection of cardio equipment, including treadmills, cross trainers, upright bike, recumbent bike and rower.
  • Multi gym station for up to 8 users at a time.
  • Resistance machines, including leg press and chest press
  • Free weight and benches, included a stack of barbells, dumbbells and sand bags

Year 11 Sports Leaders, Austin, was equally delighted with the new facility and said: “I’m really impressed how we have managed to use the space in such a productive way. I use the gym with my friends at lunch times and it has also helped me to have a better understanding of some of the theory we learn in GCSE PE, by putting it into practice.”

A special thank you should go to all those volunteers who have worked tirelessly to  contribute towards the PTA and their much appreciated fund-raising efforts that have been used to such good effect.

Churston GCSE Students achieve great success in their GCSEs!

The Y11 students at Churston Ferrers Grammar School have enjoyed great success in their GCSEs despite an exceptionally challenging year.

Across the cohort, our students received top results – 65% of grades achieved were grade 7 or above. 

Amongst those celebrating the results of their hard work, Hannah Newton and Heather Wells achieved straight grade 9s for all of their subjects. Whilst Katie Bond, Lottie Burrows, Joel Clifton, Ruby Garrett, Jodie Heather, Lily Reshad and Jodie Tang achieved 8 grade 9s in their GCSEs. 

Head of Y11, Gemma Longhurst, said “Our young people should be incredibly proud of their results, which are a just reward for the commitment and determination they have shown over the last few years.  Our students have responded with fortitude during turbulent times; their ability to dig deep, give it their best and adapt to an ever-changing national picture during their GCSE years has impressed me on a daily basis.  The students all deserve considerable recognition for their endeavours and fantastic results. We would also like to thank all of our staff who have worked relentlessly to give our pupils the greatest chance of success.”

Luci’s scholarship success!

A Sixth Form student at Churston Ferrers Grammar School has been rewarded with a scholarship for her outstanding effort and achievement during her A Levels.

Luci Reynolds received the award, granted by The Reading List Foundation, which provides a grant to cover the costs of books for her university studies. 

She was chosen for the award based not only on her outstanding results, but on the challenges that she overcame to achieve those results 

Luci achieved A* in Business Studies and History, and an A in English Literature, and has a place to read History at Durham University.

Head of Sixth Form, Adam Killeya, said “We are very proud of what all of our students have achieved this year, but Luci particularly stood out for this award for her outstanding attitude and achievement in the face of challenge. She is an extremely worthy winner, and we are very appreciative to the Reading List Foundation for offering this award”

Churston Students achieve great success

Sixth Form students at Churston Ferrers Grammar School have enjoyed great success in their A Levels despite an exceptionally challenging year.

Amongst those celebrating the results of their hard work, three Churston students secured their places at Oxford University – Adrienne Knight, to read Music, Chloe Howgate to read Law, and Ash de Silva to read Biology. The three students achieved ten A* grades between them! 

Several others students – Emily Brown, Seb Carlstrom, Megan Caunter, Ola Ebbutt and Cleo Widdecombe – achieved A*s across the board.

In total nearly half of the grades achieved by Churston students were As or A*s.

Head of Sixth Form, Adam Killeya, said “We are immensely proud of our young people and what they have achieved. A Levels are challenging at any time, and to come through two such difficult academic years as they have, and to have achieved such success, is testament to both the hard work put in by students and the support given by staff”.

Rounders – Sixth Form vs Staff

It has been a week of great sporting events; the start of The Hundred was on Wednesday, the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics is on Friday; but wedged between them was perhaps the greatest sporting contest of all. A true clash of titans, a battle of wills, a contest for victory, glory and bragging rights: the Sixth Form – Staff Rounders match.

The weather was glorious, the atmosphere one of friendly competition, but the desire to win was undoubted and for 40 minutes in the sunshine, in front of an enthusiastic and supportive crowd, the two teams battled it out for supremacy.

Great catches were taken, bases stolen, and reputations forged in the heat of sporting battle. And, when the dust settled, it was the staff who emerged victorious 9 ½ to 7 ½. Nevertheless, as the teams left the field, there was great mutual respect and a keen anticipation of a future rematch.

Sixth Form President Charlie Singh said “What occurred this day on the field can only be described as a battle. Two strong teams fought tooth and nail to win arguably the largest sporting event the UK has ever seen, with fortune (or as we know him, Mr Skelly) ultimately favouring the staff team. Despite this robbery, spirits were high all around – a great end to an unusual year.”

Chemistry Olympiad Success

Despite the lockdowns, Churston students have achieved further success in the Chemistry Olympiad competition. Organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry, this is a challenge open to the top A-level students in the UK. Four of our Year 13 Chemists tackled a number of perplexing problems, including the total synthesis of hydroxychloroquine and the role of phosphine (PH3) in recent reports regarding the possibility of life on Venus.

Edward and Bradley attained bronze awards, with Ola and Anna scoring in the top 20% of participants to achieve silver certificates. Ola remarked “The Olympiad was very challenging, but I really enjoyed preparing for the competition and using my knowledge of Chemistry to solve complex problems”.

Devon County Swimming Championships

At this years Devon County Swimming Championships, 9 Churston pupils represented Paignton Swimming Club over 4 weekends in January and February. 
Medallists were Junior Club Captain Nathan Apps with 7 gold, 7 silver and 2 bronze from 17 finals, Junior Club Captain Flo Hadley with 4 gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze from 13 finals, Club Captain Harry Joiner with 1 silver and 2 bronze from 5 finals, Club Captain Isobel Brown with 1 gold from a total of 4 finals, Ed Brown with 1 gold and 1 bronze from 8 finals, Amy Best with 1 bronze from 2 finals and Alice Brown with 1 gold from a total of 3 finals. 
The following swimmers also produced excellent swims including Personal Bests and swims in finals: Finnegan Hadley and Izzy Dover. Many of these swimmers will now be going forward to the South West Regional Championships to be held in Plymouth, in Bristol and at Millfield School during April and May. 

Primary Workshop

A big Bonjour from Anna, Alice, Isla et Lottie the year ten students who taught the children from Hayes and All Saints primary schools this month. It was a pleasure to see them engage so well with years four and five. The girls were a credit to the school, fantastic role models for les enfants. All four delivered well -paced, fun and interactive lessons.

Pains au chocolat, bonbons et croissants were treats for the children as they would play the pass the parcel game, learn colours through songs,  practise saying food and clothes items in French. The students’ sessions were fantastic additions to the day that the children were spending at Churston, learning about sea animals en français!

Longitude Explorer

Three teams of Y10s from Churston recently flew to London to take part in NESTA’s Longitude Explorer Prize semi final event.  

The challenge is to create or improve a product, app or service that uses AI technology to make the world a better place.  Based on the premise that we would all like to live in a world where people can live longer, live better, live together, and live greener, and that technology has a positive part to play in this optimistic future.

The event was held at the Olympic Park in East London where the students attended a series of workshops run by industry leading experts.  Topics such as pitching and presenting, robotics, app development, ethical issues, security concerns and the potential of AI were covered in a series of inspiring inputs.

The students have now developed their ideas based on their experiences at the event and have a nervous wait until the end of March when the finalists will be announced.  Churston have had at least one team in every national final so far and their ideas were warmly received by staff from NESTA. The finalists get to pitch their idea at the Dragon’s Den studio in Manchester in July, with the prospect of a £25,000 prize on offer, watch this space!

Churston Students’ Success in Philosophy Competition

The Philosophy and Ethics department is pleased to congratulate Rufus Sherville (Thompson) and Lily Reshad (Brunel) for coming fourth and fifth,
respectively, in the University of Nottingham’s Dare to be Philosophical? competition.

Open to year ten students across the South West of England, applicants were asked to submit a philosophical essay to Dr Andrew Fisher of the University of Nottingham.

Rufus wrote an articulate and ponderous piece on what it meant to be a philosopher, while Lily composed a thoughtful and analytical essay on the nature of reality. Thanks to the philosophical prowess of Rufus and Lily, out of all the entries, Churston managed to secure two of the top five awards.

Both students were commended for their philosophical technicality, authorial voice, and for the accessibility of their work.