87% A*-C English
55% A*-C Maths
Publication of Homework
Due to an upgrade of our IT systems over the summer break, the ‘Show My Homework’ website is not yet linked to our school timetable. In the short term, students will be recording homework in their planners. A letter providing parent/carer and student log in details for ‘Show My Homework’ will be provided as soon as it is available.
Missed our open evenings?

Don’t worry, you can still visit us to discover what an outstanding experience we can offer your child.

We have open mornings on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 September, as well as Thursday 25 and 26 September – please contact admissions@westlands.torbay.sch.uk or 01803 400660 to book your place.

If you are unable to come to these events please contact us to make alternative arrangements.

Principal's Blog

Welcome to the Principal's Blog. I hope that this will give you an insight into the daily life of a student at Westlands School. We pride ourselves on ensuring that all students are given the chance to excel and here are a few examples of the opportunities available to all of our students and parents.

Alex Newton
Westlands A* students have big plans for the future
Posted By: mr P. Cross

Among those getting top results in their GCSE exams at Westlands were Jordan Brennan, Abigail Humphries, Abigail Lawless, and Hanan Yonis.  The students have all achieved the grades they deserved, providing the perfect springboard to take the next step in their own particular journeys.

Nine As and A*s for hard-working Abigail The top performing GCSE student this year at Westlands School, Abigail Lawless gained five A*s, four As and a B, which she put down to a combination of hard work and supportive teachers.

“I cried when I read my results,” said Abigail, who says her future career options are now wide open.  “Everyone had been telling me that I would do well, but I just didn’t believe it until I opened the envelope.  I’m now looking forward to doing A-Levels.  I like writing and would love to be an author, but I’ve got lots of time to decide what I want to be.”

In addition to studying hard, Abigail has also been involved in school life at Westlands for the past three years and says that BTEC Dance (in which she got a Distinction) and undertaking her Duke of Edinburgh Bronze has helped build her confidence.

“Westlands has helped me grow as a person and I’ve had so much support from my teachers,” she added. “I struggled with Physics, but Mr Tanner has helped me so much.  I don’t know how I managed it, but he helped me get an A*.”

Westlands prepares Jordan for A-Levels and for life High-flying Jordan Brennan has high ambitions to be either a lawyer or to study medicine, so he was delighted with the string of As and Bs that he got in his GCSEs.

“My exams went well and I was hoping for grades as good as this, but I was still surprised when I opened up my results - it was such a good feeling,” said Jordan.  “I’m going to study Maths, Biology, Law and Media at A-Levels, and my GCSEs have prepared me perfectly for this.”

Jordan achieved two As, six Bs and two Cs and says that he finds all of his subjects interesting. “If I could study everything at A-Level I would,” he added.  “I have loved my time at Westlands and have really got involved in school activities and I feel that it has really prepared me for furthering my studies and for life in general.”

In addition to his studies, Jordan has been involved in many other areas of school life at Westlands, completing his Duke of Edinburgh award, doing the Ten Tors, coaching sport to younger children and playing a key role in the school’s production of The Sound of Music.

Top grades start Abigail on the road to media career Getting the right grades was very important for Abigail Humphrey, who wants to stand out from the crowd when she is on her way to a career in TV and film production, so she was thrilled with her her five As, three Bs and two Cs.

“I’m so pleased with my grades,” she said, ” and I now feel confident about taking the next step and setting my sights on a career in either film or TV.”

Abigail’s A grades came in English Language, English Literature, Media, Drama and Science.

” I want to go on to study Media, English and Film Studies,” added Abigail, who has just returned from her Duke of Edinburgh Gold expedition in the Isle of Mann and has just a couple of months to go to complete the award.  “The activities I’ve been involved in at Westlands have been really character building and the school has done so much to help me in the lead up to my exams - running extra revision sessions and encouraging me to work hard.  The next two years of my life will help me decide exactly what area of the media I would like to work in.”

Health-care career beckons for Hanan after exceptional GCSE results With seven As, three Bs and a National Diploma Distinction, Hannan Yonis was overwhelmed by how well she had done in her GCSEs. 

“It’s amazing,” she said.  “I was hoping that I would manage to get Bs, so I’m shocked - and so happy - that I managed to get seven As.  I would like to have a career in health care, and the school has been so supportive in helping me.  I’ve had so much support from teachers, particularly in English, Science and Maths, and wouldn’t have got the grades that I needed without their help.”

Hanan now plans to study Biology, Physics and English at A-level.

Westlands students stage a show to remember
Posted By: miss J. Cox

Students and staff at Westlands School staged an evening of talent and music in aid of CLIC Sargent to mark the end of term.  The event, which was planned and organised by the students themselves aimed to raise money for CLIC Sargent in memory of Alicia Dixon, a Year 7 student at the school who lost her battle with cancer.  The show has now become an annual event to support other children and their families and to celebrate the bravery of those individuals.

Students from Years 8 to 13 took part in the event with a wide range of musical numbers and styles represented.  From an original solo by Year 12 songwriter Courtney Lewsley to an acapella version of 'Royals' by Lorde, there was something to suit all musical tastes.  Once again, performances by staff added interest with dance routines to 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams and 'One way or another' by One Direction.

Event organiser, Year 13 student Lucy Pike explained the story behind the show:

"The past three charity concerts, unfortunately, stemmed from a Year 7 student losing her battle with cancer.  This tragedy urged me to show my support to the charity CLIC Sargent who supports children with cancer and their families providing both physical and emotional support.  From starting diagnosis, continuing throughout treatment and bereavement, CLIC makes a difference to people's lives.

This started as a personal journey, however, the staff and students at Westlands School have been the driving force behind the success of the shows, raising over £2,500.  Although this is my last year as I am leaving to start university, the concerts will hopefully continue, with the proceeds going to CLIC Sargent".

On behalf of the school and CLIC Sargent, we would like to thank everyone for their donations and a special thank you to the traders of Babbacombe who, between them, donated many prizes for the raffle.

Year 11 celebrate their time at Westlands
Posted By: miss J. Cox

Months of preparation came together for the annual Year 11 Westlands School Prom.  The occasion, which was held at the Imperial Hotel in Torquay, marked the end of five years at the school for the young people.  As expected, the young men and women were excellent ambassadors for the school, not only in the effort they put into outfits but also with their impeccable behaviour.

On arrival the students were welcomed with drinks as they made their way into the navy and white themed Prom Room before partying the night away with a disco and buffet.  A large number of staff also attended the event to help celebrate the hard work of the students - who are expected to achieve the best ever results recorded at the school.

Prize Draws were available with Caleb Sherlock winning the start prize of a 42 inch television and Chelsea Hill and David Strange each winning a tablet.

Prior to the event, staff at the school voted for Prom King and Queen, with Michael Billing and Amy Lewis winning the royal accolade.  They were each awarded with a wrist-watch to mark the occasion as well as a sash and a tiara or crown to wear for the evening.  Additional awards were given to Marc Nixon and Gideon Hall (who won 'Mr Fab-u-lous) receiving a sash and cufflinks/tie pins.  'Miss Fab-u-lous' was awarded to Tia Knights who received a sash and jewellery box.

Following the evening, the General Manager of the hotel, Gwyn Gibbons, said:

"Once again The Imperial Hotel was delighted to be the venue for the Westlands School Prom, The pupils attending were all delightful and so well behaved and we look forward to next year"

We wish our outgoing Year 11 students the very best for their future and hope they reflect fondly on their time at Westlands.

Pictured above in their finery are (left to right) are Jack Beasley-Hammond, Chelsea Hill, Jordi Donn, Kim Davidson and Dylan Saundry.

Westlands Duke of Edinburgh Award Gold Practice Expedition
Posted By: miss J. Cox

Westlands 2014 Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award participants had a successful practice expedition on Exmoor last week.  The participants walked for three days, carrying all of the equipment and food that they would need for their walk and two overnight camps.

Duke of Edinburgh Leader Fiona Darby said, “A Gold expedition is a serious, elite challenge.  The amount of kit that is required makes the youngster’s bags very heavy and even three days is a long time to keep going, their assessed expedition on the Isle of Man will be four days.  On top of this, the youngsters have to navigate in an unfamiliar area.” The weather was fair but at times the heat made progress very difficult, the team dealt with this well, setting up a buddy system to ensure that everyone was protecting themselves from the sun and drinking enough water.  Each of the participants had moments of struggling with the weight of their rucksacks but all persevered and the team finished in good spirits.  A particular highlight was a forest wild camp on an Exmoor National Park site that is reserved for Duke of Edinburgh participants.

Josh Ramsey, Gold participant said, “The practice expedition was a challenge at times but we enjoyed it and worked together when things got difficult.  We are all looking forward to our assessed Gold expedition on the Isle of Man in two weeks’ time.”

Lucy Atkins DofE Manager said, “The Gold group have worked tirelessly on their Gold Award and I am pleased that this trip was so successful. I am confident that they are ready for their final expedition.”

Photo (left to right) - Kieran Tully, Abi Humphrey, Joe Tucker, Josh Ramsey, Ryan Shenton-Smith.

Abby heads off to tour the USA
Posted By: miss J. Cox

Year 13 student Abby Davis is leaving Westlands to tour America.  Abby has elected to sign up for a TrekAmerica adventure enabling her to receive guided tours from professional tour guides whilst camping in a number of world renowned destinations.

TrekAmerica is the leading tour operator for small groups in North America.  Catering for the 18-38 age group, those who sign up have the opportunity to explore the USA in a safe and fun way.  As part of her chosen route, Abby is looking forward to visiting Los Angeles and Las Vegas.  She will then go on to take a once-in-a-lifetime helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon before camping in the bottom of the National Park.  Accompanied by her travel companions and guides, she will then challenge herself physically by trekking back out of the canyon.

On her return Abby will be attending the University of Essex to study for a degree in Language and Linguistics. 

We hope Abby has a fantastic trip and wish her luck in her future studies at university.

Westlands athletes shine at Sports Day
Posted By: miss J. Cox

Students from Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 participated in the annual School Sports Day, held at Quinta Playing Fields.  The sporting event was a great success - not only did the weather turn out to be stunning - but all of the students excelled both in terms of the effort they put into their performance and the way in which they conducted themselves.

Scores were very close throughout the day.  The participants from Raleigh House took an early lead in the morning, with Christie, Brunel and Peters Houses fighting back in the afternoon.  Raleigh had secured enough points, however, to fight off the challengers.  The final scores were as follows:

• 4th place: Christie House • 3rd place: Brunel House • 2nd place: Peters House • 1st Place: Raleigh House

Westlands School Sports Day is the highlight of the sporting calendar.  The event demonstrated the abilities of our sporting students although no school records were broken on this day.  The PE Department would, however, like to congratulate James Alcock (pictured) in Year 7 who broke the 300 metre School Record - held since 2009 - with a stunning time of 49.5 seconds. This was achieved in his athletics PE lesson.

Year 10 sportsman, Owen Musk , said of the day: “it was a great atmosphere.  I enjoyed it despite coming last in the 1500 metres.  It was a close race though.  I would like to say thank you to the PE Department for organising it”

Westlands Young Leaders rewarded
Posted By: miss J. Cox

Three Young Leaders from Westlands School in Torquay have been given the opportunity to participate in a fencing session as a reward for all of the hard work they have put into the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme at the Torquay School over the past twelve months.  Fencing combines physical and mental challenge in order to 'out-think' your opponent and posed an ideal new experience for these community minded youngsters.

Year 12 students Joe Tucker, Josh Ramsey and Ryan Shenton-Smith have given up significant quantities of their own time to support the work undertaken by Duke of Edinburgh Award Manager Lucy Atkins.  In addition to taking sole charge of maintaining the kit used for outdoor expeditions, the Young Leaders have also worked tirelessly with their less experienced peers, passing on knowledge and advice to younger participants.  In addition they have provided much welcome support to the staff,  attending both the Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme expeditions to assist with the teaching of navigation skills, teamwork and camp skills.

Young Leaders are usually (but not always) participants themselves who are working towards, or who have already achieved their Gold Award.  The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme strongly believes in community volunteering and likes to encourage participants to give something back to a community that may have helped them in their endeavours.  Joe, Josh and Ryan have embraced this community minded spirit and have earned their fencing reward.

Newton Abbot Fencing Club (http://www.newtonabbotfencingclub.co.uk) very kindly offered them a free taster session to learn some of the footwork, terminology and techniques used for fencing with a foil.  Following a brief period of instruction, the Young Leaders soon gained confidence with their parries and ripostes!  John Evers (Club Coach) said:

"I am impressed by how quickly the lads picked up the sport. They were very good and definitely should consider coming back for more."

The Young Leaders enjoyed learning a new sport and said: "I enjoyed it more than I thought I would although some of the techniques were harder than I expected. I am going to try and go fencing again as it was such good fun."

Pictured left to right: Joe Tucker, Josh Ramsey, Ryan Shenton-Smith

Westlands supports Primary School Sports Days
Posted By: miss J. Cox

Westlands School was delighted to lend their students' expertise to support two local primary school Sports Days.  GCSE Sports Science students from Year 10 assisted with the Ilsham Primary School Sports Day whilst Year 9 students supported the same event held by Ellacombe Academy.  The students from Westlands assisted the local primary schools through the staging of sporting events, overseeing the activities of the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils and generally helping the ensure the smooth running of the afternoon.

Westlands School PE teacher Duncan Smillie spoke of the two events:

"Both sets of pupils were a credit to the school and the two primary schools involved have fed back to me about how impressed they were with the attitude and effort of our students.  Over the two days our students helped to lead both KS1 and KS2 pupils.  Not only did the teachers report back with a very positive outlook many parents also commented on how impressed they were with our students". 

Musical Theatre night a success
Posted By: miss J. Cox

The Sixth Form Performing Arts students put on a show with their final performance of the academic year.  The evening of Musical Theatre songs had something for everyone with show tunes from West End hits such as Chicago, Annie, Wicked and Shrek the Musical. 

For some, it was an emotional finale to their time at Westlands as they leave the school in July to pursue the next stage of their academic lives.  The evening, which combined the efforts of Year 12, Year 13 and Year 14 students demonstrated the group's ability to work as a team an organise a truly magical evening of entertainment. 

Year 13 student, Fran Old, spoke of her involvement in the show:

"We spent seven weeks undertaking rehearsals for the show after school.    The teachers guided us in terms of the songs we might like to sing but we were generally able to make our own choices and include some of our favourites in the programme.  We worked really hard with Miss Kelly on the choreography.  Very few shows run without a hitch and the day before the event, one of our participants, Alice Woolfenden tore the ligament in her leg and had to pull out.  This meant we had 24 hours to rework the line up and some of choreography had to be altered.

I was really happy with the way the show went, we worked well as a team and pulled together to stage a memorable evening.  I am glad to have completed my course but very sad to be leaving the group - all of whom have become close friends.  I am excited to move to the next step in my life - taking on a Youth Apprenticeship studying Drama Therapy".

Nicole wins ipad
Posted By: miss J. Cox

A school trip to the 'Learn 2 Live' event in Torquay has reaped rewards in more ways than one for lucky Year 12 student Nicole Bleasdale-Mortimore.  Nicole, from Torquay, won an ipad donated by Plymouth University, having participated in a Psychology study run by the higher education institution. 

The 'Learn2Live' event is held at the International Riviera Centre in Torquay in the autumn term and Nicole attended alongside her peers at Westlands.  The annual event is an emotionally charged day focusing on the topic of road safety and run in conjunction with the Local Authority Road Safety Teams, Fire & Rescue Service, Police, Paramedics, Family Liaison Officers as well as consultants and family speakers.  The participants at the event are taught, in no uncertain terms, how "a moment's madness really can lead to a lifetime of sadness".  Learn2Live specifically targets young people as they are statistically one of the most 'at risk' groups when it comes to road traffic collisions.

A team of staff and students from Plymouth University were present at the event to undertake a study of the impact upon the youngsters.  Those willing to complete an evaluation as part of the study were entered into the prize draw to win the ipad.

Reflecting on the day, Nicole explained:

"It was a hard hitting day.  I didn't realise the dangers of what can happen when you are driving.  The memories and lessons learnt will not be forgotten when I get behind the wheel. 

Winning the ipad was a lovely surprise.  I will find it really useful in my Sport and Film Studies courses.  Students from five different schools entered the competition to I was really surprised to win."

Pictured is Lauren Weston from Plymouth University handing Nicole her ipad.  Nicole is pictured on the left.

Year 9 celebrate BTEC Home Cooking Skills success
Posted By: miss J. Cox

A group of Year 9 Catering students have successfully completed their Level 2 BTEC course in Home Cooking Skills.  The course enables the students to build their knowledge, skill and confidence in the preparation of home cooked meals. 

The students have spent this academic year learning about nutrition, food preparation and food hygiene before undertaking a final assessed task this week.  They were given the brief to produce a nutritious two course meal which would be suitable for a special occasion.

At the time of launching the qualification, Jamie Oliver explained his rationale:

"Six years ago, backed by the 271,000 parents and teachers who had signed the petition, I took my manifesto to Downing Street and asked for the government to make cooking and life skills compulsory for all kids. We need to make sure that all kids are given the opportunity to learn about food and good eating habits while they're still young, so that they're sorted for life.

"Together with Pearson, I’ve put together the Home Cooking Skills Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications, which I believe could be the start of the solution. It's an easy-to-teach course that will help your students develop the knowledge and essential skills required to cook simple, nutritious and affordable food at home."  Jamie Oliver (May 2010)

Year 9 student Lauren Butler spoke of what she had gained from the course:

"I've enjoyed the course, I've learnt how to slice an onion properly and prepare lots of family dishes from pasta to roasts and crumbles.  I am now much more confident to cook at home.  For my meal I cooked lasagna with a green salad and French dressing followed by apple crumble and custard.  I think people should choose this course because it gives you a lot of confidence in a kitchen environment".

Pictured left to right:  Lauren Butler, Jade Cannon, Adam Davis, Coral Baker and Layla Al-hasni

Westlands Year 11 students leave in style
Posted By: miss J. Cox

Year 11 students from Westlands School marked their final day with a celebratory 'Leavers Assembly' on Friday 6 June, designed to reflect on their five years at the School and look towards their futures as their time in compulsory education comes to an end.

In addition to a fun awards ceremony, students were treated to musical performances by Chelsea Hill and Chloe Charlesworth (both Year 11) and a motivational speech from the Acting Headteacher, Mrs Lyndsey Kane, as they make their final preparations for their GCSE examinations.  The now traditional poem by former Head of House Ben Heywood was delivered by Mr Loosemore.

The occasion culminated with each student releasing a balloon into the air from the playground in their House colour. The Leavers Assembly was a time to take pride in what they had achieved throughout their time at Westlands as well as celebrating a pivotal point in their lives.

Year 11 student Molly Phillips reflected on the day:

"The assembly was a good way to end our time at Westlands.  It was very emotional to see everyone all together, some of whom we may never see again.  It was very emotional to look at the photos after.  The atmosphere created in the assembly was happy and helped us to celebrate our time at the school".

Fellow Year 11 student, Charlie Maddern , stated that the assembly marked:

"The ending of one life, to the beginning of another"

Westlands is represented at the Carnegie Book Awards
Posted By: miss J. Cox

This term students and staff in the English Department have been working hard to represent Westlands School at the Carnegie Book Award Presentation which was held at Stover School in Newton Abbot. 

The Carnegie Book Award offers national recognition of talented writers and their latest book. A small group of book enthusiasts from Year 7 & 8, attended the event in order to present their nominated book ‘The Wall’ by William Sutcliff. 'The Wall' tells the tale of Joshua, a thirteen year old boy who lives on the West Bank with his mother and stepfather.  At the end of his town is a high wall, guarded by soldiers, which can only be crossed through a heavily fortified checkpoint. Joshua has been taught that beyond the concrete is a brutal and unforgiving enemy, and that The Wall is the only thing keeping him and his people safe.  The book outlines how he discovers a secret route into the forbidden territory beyond the checkpoint and what he learns when his reality is turned upside down.  It is intended to provide powerful images into the realities of life on the West Bank and discovering there are two sides to every story. The Westlands cohort were joined by several other schools in the region who were all nominated a different book to present from the Carnegie Book Award list. 

The Westlands students delivered a high quality presentation which was described by the visiting author Antony McGowan as "moving and hard hitting".

The students found the event a stirring and productive day in which they were inspired to read a number of books on the Carnegie list.

Year 8 students Kathryn Wiltshire and Charlotte Purcell spoke of their day:  "It was a great opportunity to meet other enthusiastic readers, the presentations and meeting the authors made me want to read more books, books that perhaps we would not have previously considered looking at".

The students involved in the day were: Kathryn Wiltshire, Emily Warner, Katie Wilden, Charlotte Purcell, Chelsea Edwards, Maddie Timmins, Ashleigh Burkin, Devon Taylor, Amelia Webb and Shannon Duncan.  They are pictured here with author Antony McGowan.

Success for the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award students
Posted By: miss J. Cox

The Westlands School Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award group successfully completed the expedition section of their qualification over the weekend of the 7th and 8th of June.

Having trained all year, the two groups of youngsters worked independently of staff to navigate their way around the route they had set.  The external assessor overseeing their expedition was very pleased with the progress that both groups made over the weekend and he particularly commented on the excellent teamwork showed by the year 9 girls group.

The names of the participants are: Alicia Staples, Amy Hewitt, Amber McDonagh, Katie Pinggera, Molly Hughes, Emily Cannon, Shannon Parr, Callum Hill, Sophie Hodson, Jodie Wollaston, Charlotte Osborne.

Alicia Staples said: "I enjoyed the expedition a lot! I loved the fact that we were able to work as a team. We learned different skills and we learned through our Young Leaders. We gave each other support through the whole expedition."

Thanks go to the Mrs Atkins and Mrs Darby, along with the Young Leaders - Joe Ramsey, Ryan Shenton-Smith and Joe Tucker - for the extensive training and support of these young people, ensuring they were ready emotionally and physically for their expedition.

Be the Best You Can Be – Celebration of Success
Posted By: miss J. Cox

Since their arrival at Westlands in September, Year 7 have been working on the "Be the Best You Can Be" programme as part of their SMSC lessons.  To celebrate their success with this program, we welcomes, for a return visit, Michaela Breeze - the Olympic weightlifter.

Michaela talked to the students about their hopes and dreams and told them about her own dreams and the hurdles that she had to overcome to achieve them.  Michaela is currently in training for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where she will represent Wales in a head-to-head contest against Zoe Smith for England, current holder of the 58kg division clean and jerk British record.

Westlands students wished Michaela well for the Commonwealth Games, Year 7 are all looking forward to watching her on July 26th.  She ended the sessions by giving each student a medal and asking them to keep it to remind them of their goals and dreams.

Fi Darby (Subject Leader Careers) reflected on the programme the Year 7 students had participated in:  "I am very pleased to have been able to give Year 7 the opportunity to talk to someone who is so dedicated to what they are trying to achieve.  I hope that they take Michaela's messages to heart and think about them in the future." Jess Martin Year 7 explained "Michaela talked a lot of sense and inspired me to be the best that I can be.  I want to be good at gymnastics and do competitions like Michaela one day."  Whilst classmate Soli Llewllyn spoke of memories the event created :  "Michaela's visit was good and inspirational and will be hard to forget."

Rowan sets sail for the Tall Ships Race 2014
Posted By: miss J. Cox

Westlands School Year 13 student, Rowan Dolman-Williamson, has an exciting summer ahead of him.  The eighteen year old from Torquay has been selected to participate in the 2014 Tall Ships Race by Brixham based Trinity Sailing Foundation.

The races, based in the North Sea, will be between the host ports of Harlingen (in Holland), Fredrikstad and Bergen (in Norway) and Esbjerg (in Denmark) during July 2014.

In addition to the competitive races, the experience provides an unforgettable experience for young people providing them with the opportunity to get to an international crew over camp fires, as well as celebrate the experience at events and concerts which are put on for them across the host ports.  Rowan will be able to discover hidden strengths, new talents and further extend his team working abilities.

At each stop, en route, there is a carnival to welcome the ships and their crews. The participants will also be given time to explore the locations and visit each of the ships taking part in the races. Rowan will join the ship on 29th June, travelling to Amsterdam, where he and the rest of the crew will spend four days getting to know the vessel, sailing along the Dutch coast, heading towards Harlingen.

Rowan will be helping to crew the Brixham Sailing Trawler ‘Leader’ which was built in 1892 and is 105 feet in length.  She is the oldest and largest ship in the Trinity Foundation Fleet. 

Speaking of his trip, Rowan explains:

” I had to go through a fairly rigorous selection process.  I had to submit a written essay explaining why I felt I should be selected.  I then had to attend an interview following which I was told I had been successful.  Having completed all three distances at the Ten Tors events and climbed Mount Toukbal in Morocco with World Challenge, this is my next big adventure.  I have done a little bit of sailing before in the Sea Scouts and am a qualified kayaking instructor but have never sailed on a ship of this size before.  I am really looking forward to the trip and working as part of a team”.

Sixth Form celebrate success
Posted By: miss J. Cox

Sixth Form students Charlie Reynolds, Connor Payne, Joern Friedrich and Chloe Llewellyn all had reason to celebrate last week when they received cash prizes as part of the Golden Ticket Celebration of Success event.

Along with the rest of the school, sixth form students can earn tickets for the draw, through academic success, effort, being a good community member and achieving a high level of attendance.  Each ticket earned is placed in the draw with Head of Sixth Form, Mrs Vaughan drawing tickets at random.

Please join us in congratulating the students on their success.

Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award students undertake their final practice
Posted By: miss J. Cox

The Westlands School Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award group undertook their final visit to Dartmoor for 3 days over the half term break to carry out their practice expedition. The trip was very successful with all 8 participants continuing their learning in the areas of navigation, teamwork and campcraft.  The weather ranged from very heavy rain to sunny spells and despite the first night resulting in some wet sleeping bags, the groups’ spirits were not dampened: they remained cheerful throughout!

The three Young Leaders (Joe Tucker, Ryan Shenton-Smith and Josh Ramsey, all Year 12) did an excellent job of making sure the younger students were fully prepared for their independent assessed expedition in July.

Lucy Atkins, Duke of Edinburgh Manager at Westlands said:

"Once again I am very proud of our students and how they have shown resilience and determination".

Pictured from left to right: Jenny Broad, Jordan Brennan, Megan Horton, Jay Pilkington, Molly Phillips, Bradley Hyde, Olivia Barry, Sian Lyden.

Molly Philliips, Year 11, said:

"I loved doing my silver Duke of Edinburgh Award practice expedition.  It was a great experience.  It may have been a bit wet as it rained all weekend but it allowed me to learn a lot and really challenge myself.  The young leaders gave us all great advice and the expedition wouldn't have been as good as it was without them".

Congratulations to our new Heads of Year
Posted By: miss J. Cox

As Westlands School looks to the future, some important changes will be taking place. One of the first adjustments will be to pastoral care with a move from a vertical tutor group system back to the more traditional year groups.  With this change, we will also move from Heads of Houses to Heads of Year with each year group having a specific member of staff responsible for their pastoral care and academic progress.

After a rigorous recruitment process, which saw a large number of high quality staff apply, five successful candidates were selected to become the new 'Heads of Year'.  We would like to congratulate Mrs Faulkener (Year 7), Miss Bentley (Year 8), Mr Veale (Year 9), Mr Loosemore (Year 10) and Mr Cocker (Year 11) on their appointments which will come into effect from September 2014.

Sixth Form party the night away
Posted By: miss J. Cox

Students and staff from Westlands Sixth Form celebrated the forthcoming end of their academic year, taking the opportunity to say 'farewell' to those who leave us in July at their annual leaver's ball at the Imperial Hotel in Torquay. 

The highly successful evening organised primarily by Head Boy, Ben Wood, ably assisted by his Ambassadors and close friends.

The students all looked absolutely fabulous and had definitely dressed to impress.  The Regent Suite at the Imperial Hotel and been beautifully by the student themselves. The students enjoyed music, food and dancing with a professional photographer present to record the memories.

Each student was supplied with a notebook and pen to enable them to write each other messages of good luck and recall memories.

Students were delighted to see members of the English Department -  Mrs Ware, Mrs Hosking and Mr Loosemore-  who came along and had a good old boogie - it was great to have them there!

After dancing all evening, students made their way home at midnight, with some continuing their celebrations with a post party visit to Torquay's nightlife.

Year 13 students Laura Broughton and Daisy Tunkin reflected on their evening:

"We had an amazing night with fantastic food and music.  It was lovely to have an official photographer there to record the evening.  It was important to have a celebration the people we have spent the last seven years with … some of whom we may not see after we leave school".

Westlands School - “Success in Ten Tors 2014
Posted By: miss J. Cox

Twelve students from Westlands School took part in the 2014 Ten Tors challenge.  The 35 Mile team were Owen Musk (team leader),  Josh Lee (first navigator), Jack Johnson (second navigator), Oliver Smith, Rhys Starr and Sam Zaple.  This team kept a good pace throughout and crossed the finish line in their distinctive bright orange sweatshirts looking very strong at 15:20.

The 55 Mile team were Joe Tucker (team leader), Ryan Shenton-Smith (navigator), Josh Ramsey, Chloe Atkins, Rowan Dolman-Williams and Max Rees.  This team had a much tougher test and were brought to the limits of their endurance and determination.  Four of them completed the challenge and crossed the line fifteen minutes before the finish at 16:45.

All teams faced very difficult weather conditions with high winds and heavy showers throughout the weekend.  There are a lot of happy but tired faces around school this week as well as some very sore looking feet.  Team manager Fi Darby said, "It is difficult to appreciate just how much endurance, skill and teamwork the Ten Tors Challenge requires unless you are directly involved.  There are not many things that compare to the pride of seeing a team that you have trained crossing the finish line."

Fundraising effort - Sainsbury's bag pack
Posted By: miss J. Cox

The Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award group continued their fundraising efforts on Saturday 3rd May with a bag pack at Sainsbury’s PLC at The Willows in Torquay.  The students worked hard between the hours of 11.00 am and 4.00 pm assisting the Sainsbury's customers with their shopping.  Assisted by some of the Silver group, the team managed to raise a significant amount of money to put towards the costs incurred as a result of the expedition to the Isle of Man which is planned for July of this year.

As always the students represented the school well, demonstrating the high calibre of the youngsters at Westlands.  Pictured (left to right) are Kieran Tully, Josh Ramsey, Joe Tucker, Ryan Shenton-Smith, Abbie Humphrey and Westlands School Duke of Edinburgh leader Lucy Atkins.

Sixth Form leavers present their leaving mementos
Posted By: miss J. Cox

Sixth Form students at Westlands collected their new 'Leavers Hoodies' from School this week.  The 'hoodie' initiative is the first time students leaving Westlands in the summer term have taken up the opportunity to purchase a memento of their time at the School.

Pictured are some of our outgoing Sixth Form students wearing their hoodies.  The enterprising idea, which was the brainchild of Year 13 student Abby Davis, attracted massive enthusiasm and interest from the sixth form students.  The students were able to select their own choice of colour and size, allowing for a customised end product which suited individual preferences.

We are hopeful that one of our current Year 12 will take on the job next year to make this initiative an annual tradition.

Abby explains the reason behind ordering the items:

"It is a nice idea to remember the school, all the years that we have spent here and the people we spent it with. Most of us have spent seven years of our lives at Westlands and it is nice to leave with a souvenir such as the hoodies".

Sixth Form students put on a show
Posted By: miss J. Cox

The AS level Theatre Studies group recently staged a performance of 'Teechers' by John Godber as part of the assessment for their qualification. 

The performance was interpreted as the play was intended: a group of three 'almost,' school leavers, performing a play using the bare minimum of props and costume to present their story.  The text focuses on the relationships between pupils and teachers and the impact an idealistic new Drama teacher - Mr Harrison - had on their work during his first days of teaching.

Three school leavers, Salty, Hobby and Gail Saunders perform to an audience an account of their time in secondary school.  The arrival of Mr Harrison ignites their passion for the stage with his idealism and belief that all children should be treated equally. The style of the performance was exaggerated, comic and choral, using elements of physical theatre, slapstick and direct address to convey the feel of life at Whitewall High, a local comprehensive school.  The group were challenged to work as an ensemble to create the slick, fast-paced feel of the text and convey the gritty reality of the many roles they adopted.

The cast included Dan Knights and Toni Zimmermann, both in Year 12 and Emma Salthouse from Year 13.  The performance was directed by Mrs Deekes with sound and lighting support from Mr Horwood.

Dan Knights, Yr 12, who performed the role of Mr Harrison (amongst others) explains his involvement in the course:

"Taking A-Level Drama and in particular, undertaking the performance of 'Teechers'  has been a great learning experience as well as a lot of fun".

Year 11 begin their final examinations
Posted By: miss J. Cox

On Wednesday and Thursday 23rd & 24th April, Westlands music students arrived at school ready to take their creative task examination. This element of the exam enables the students to demonstrate their musical understanding in a practical way.  The Creative Task marks the start of the main examination period for Year 11, with the majority of terminal exams falling either side of the forthcoming half term break.

In order to successfully complete the task, students were required to create and perform a short piece of music in response to a stimulus set by the examination board.  As with their other practical subjects, they were required to sit the exam under controlled conditions and communicate their piece either through a performance on their instrument/voice, or through the use of ICT.

Students had a choice of six different stimuli with most of them electing to compose a piece of music to a given set of words.

It can be daunting to compose a piece of music in just 45 minutes which is a very short space of time, but when under pressure to perform because it is an actual exam, the students really were tested.

We wish all of our Year 11 students success in their forthcoming exams and with their future educational plans.

Ten Tors preparations come to an end
Posted By: miss J. Cox

Months of training culminate this coming weekend for the Westlands School Ten Tors teams as the annual event kicks off in the early hours of Saturday morning.  The event, for the staff and students involved, begins on Friday 9th May when they travel to Okehampton Army Camp to pitch their tents and set up their equipment before undertaking the essential checks of student kit bags and other final arrangements. 

Westlands has two teams competing in the challenge this year.  Year 10 are represented in the 35 mile event by Owen Musk (Team Leader), Josh Lee (Navigator), Jack Johnson (2nd Navigator), Sam Zaple, Rhys Starr and OJ Smith.

Our 55 mile team is representing Westlands Sixth Form and the team members are Josh Ramsey , Joe Tucker, Ryan Shenton-Smith and Rowan Dolman-Williams (pictured above).  Completing their team of six are Max Rees, an ex-student of Westlands, and Chloe Atkins.  In addition to preparing for their own event, these seasoned 'Ten Tors Veterans' have helped the staff to train and support their younger peers who have benefitted extensively from the experience of the older students. Anyone who wants to wish our teams' good luck and watch the start of the event Ten Tors will need to be up at Okehampton Camp by 06:00 on Saturday morning.  If you want to follow the teams’ progress online over the weekend, the link to the Ten Tors website is below.


All of these students (plus a fair few who didn’t make the team) have been working very hard since October.  Please give them lots of encouragement and praise and be a bit gentle with them on Monday morning!

Are you interested in attending a cycling course in half term?
Posted By: miss J. Cox

Holiday Cycle Training 26-31 May Parkfield, Paignton & Broadsands In the school holidays,Torbay Council will be running a full range of cycle training from Parkfield and Broadsands including: 'Learn to Ride', Bikeability Level 1, Bikeability Level 2, Adult Cycle Training                                                       Courses are available for children aged 6 up to Adults.  Pre-booking is essential to guarantee your place on these courses.  Attendees must have a bike in full working order and a safety helmet. For more details and a booking form please email

Duke of Edinburgh students continue their expedition preparation
Posted By: miss J. Cox

During the Easter holidays the Gold Duke of Edinburgh group took part in a residential trip to a Dartmoor bunkhouse to complete their training in preparation for their expedition later this year.

Whilst there they brushed up on their teamwork skills, took part in a night navigation exercise and spent some time with a Dartmoor Ranger. The voluntary work they completed whilst with the Ranger included litter picking, repairing damaged trees and erecting advisory signs. The trip was a great success: the team are now ready for their practice expedition on Exmoor and their assessed expedition on the Isle of Man.

Geography Italy trip 2014
Posted By: miss J. Cox

A group of 27 students from years 9-13 have recently returned from a trip to Southern Italy.  The Geography students, who were accompanied by three members of staff took the opportunity to experience first-hand what they had learnt about in school.

In addition to educational visits to the ruins of Pompeii and the steaming gas vents in Solfatara, the Westlands students also took the time to relax, enjoying the beautiful Amalfi coastline and participating in an ice cream making session.

This was the first visit by the Geography Department to the country and, without exception, it was found by all to be both enjoyable and informational.

Reflecting on the activity, Geography teacher Mr Willmore explained: "Everyone behaved impeccably and Miss Woodyatt, Miss Roberts and I were proud of all the students for making it to the top of Mt Vesuvius.  It was quite a challenge.  As part of their studies the group visualised what a composite volcano was and developed an understanding of mass tourism on the island of Capri. They also took the opportunity to learn a few words of Italian!"

Reflecting on their trip Molly Hughes in Year 9 explained:  "I didn’t realise how well preserved Pompeii was and that it was covered in ash".  Whilst fellow student Mia Washbrook, also in Year 9, "loved the boat ride around Capri, Italian culture and, of course, ice cream".

Health and Social Care students receive First Aid Training
Posted By: miss J. Cox

On Wednesday the 23rd April, 23 students from the Health and Social Care Department took part in British Red Cross First Aid Training.  The Year 10 and Year 12 students participated in an active and hands on workshop designed to teach them vital lifesaving skills . During the day, ably guided by the trainers Margaret and Pete from the British Red Cross, the students learnt how to put a casualty into recovery position and how to carry out CPR (emergency resuscitation) using the resuscitation models.  The students then tackled how to treat bleeding and burns, learning to apply bandages on damaged arms and head injuries.  This made for some interesting and fun end results! 

After lunch the team turned their attention to the real-life issues of choking and epileptic seizures, with the students learning the importance of a quick response when saving lives.  The afternoon finished with watching a DVD to recap followed by a question and answer session.

The students were given a First Aid book at the end of the training before going home and will receive a certificate in due course, for their ROA file and assignment work.  All of the students enjoyed the day, gaining valuable lifesaving skills and everyone passed the course.  Well done Health and Social Care girls and boys, you were brilliant!

Shannon Heale 6th form, participated in the workshop

'It was a very good session and I learnt a lot from it. It was mostly practical which gave me more of an idea of how to help someone who has been in an accident.'

Ella Cuss, Year 10, agreed:

'This course was very interesting and important for me to learn. It was very well taught and I will pass on my skills I have learnt to others'

Boots fund makes Duke of Edinburgh possible for Westlands students
Posted By: miss J. Cox

Westlands School's Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme students are benefiting from a new fund that has been established to provide high-quality walking boots for participants.

The 'Moor Boots' fund, set up by the Dartmoor Preservation Association, means that the students, aged 14-17, will be able to comfortably complete their upcoming Duke of Edinburgh Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.  The students have just had their boots custom-fitted at Costwold Outdoors, based at Darts Farm in Topsham, where they were encouraged to walk up inclines, jump in their boots and taught how to correctly tie them up. The pilot scheme has a total funding pot of £600, which - assuming the initiative is successful and the DPA can lever the expected match-funding - will increase to £3,000 in 2015.  Students throughout Devon who meet the association's criteria for financial assistance will then be able to get high-quality boots without having to worry about the expense. "I'm so grateful to DPA for the help they've given us," said 16-year-old Jordan Brennan.  "I've had boots before, but they're old, ill-fitting and not appropriate for serious walking.  My new boots are perfect though.  They're comfortable, excellent quality and fit high up my ankle, so my ankles are supported and won't be bare to the wind".

"Before I found out that I'd received the funding, I was going to borrow a different-sized pair off my uncle.  Now, I know that my feet will be comfy and it's taken the worry of finding good boots away, so I can concentrate on preparing for my expedition."

And Jordan isn't the only one who is delighted with the boots.  15-year-old Sian Lyden - an avid walker - also received the 'VIP boot-fitting treatment'.  She said: "I do a lot of physical activity and love walking, but I've never had boots professional fitted before.  The process was so interesting and I now have an amazing pair of boots that fit me perfectly and will last for ages.

"Doing Duke of Edinburgh costs a lot, and it all adds up - from buying good quality waterproofs and a stove to getting hold of a sleeping bag and a mat.  I've had to fundraise hard and borrow for the rest of my kit - so not having to find the money boots is one less thing to worry about."

The funding initiative was set up after Westlands teachers Fiona Darby and Lucy Atkins met James Paxman from the DPA in Edinburgh. With standard equipment for the expedition costing around £400 per student, James was anxious to help in-need students benefit from the experience that the Duke of Edinburgh's Awards offer.

After coming up with a funding plan, he invited Fiona and Lucy along to meet DPA trustees, who assessed the proposal and were delighted to help.

"This has been a real lifeline for our students," said Fiona, "and a real boost for them in the lead up to their practice expeditions. In the past, Westlands staff have lent our students their own personal equipment, which is far from ideal. The hope is that the initiative will run for the next five years and I truly believe it will help more Westlands students to benefit from the valuable experience that the DofE provides and ultimately enjoy years of walking on Dartmoor.

In all, 27 Westland’s students are undertaking their Duke of Edinburgh's Awards this year.  13 are doing the Bronze Award, with a final expedition around Torbay; 13 are doing the Silver Award, with a final expedition on Dartmoor; and the 6 students doing the Gold Award will complete their final expedition on the Isle of Man. 

James Paxman, Chief Executive at the Dartmoor Preservation Society, said: "At the DPA we believe passionately that young people should get the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Dartmoor and learn how to explore and appreciate the outdoors in a responsible manner.  To ensure this happens, good quality kit- particularly boots - are essential, as they reduce the risk of injury and blisters, ensure walkers are comfortable, and they can last for years to come.  "And that's basically how the idea started.  We had a simple idea: to 'put boots on the feet of young people' - young people who may one day be members of the DPA and who might otherwise miss the opportunity the experience Dartmoor.  Our trustees were right behind the initiative from the start, supporting the pilot scheme immediately. "It's wonderful to know that we are helping so many young people to experience what Dartmoor has to offer, and we intend to ensure that this programme can continue for years to come.  This initiative is something that we will hopefully not only be offering to Westlands students, but also to students from other schools within the area, following this initial pilot run."

Westlands hits the slopes at Easter in 2015
Posted By: miss J. Cox

The coming season sees Westlands school head off on a snowy adventure for the eleventh time, once again to our favourite resort of Maria Alm in Austria. Everyone on the trip can look forward to one of those memorable experiences that will last a life time.  With the hotel just a stone's throw from the ski lift the location is perfectly set -  in a village voted the most beautiful in Austria.

With five hours full instruction per day this is a great chance to learn a new skill or take one to the next level before enjoying the evening entertainments programme that always provides something for everyone. Especially interesting is the fancy dress Karaoke night…even if it can be a bit painful on the ears!

Letters are available now for the Easter 2015 ski trip and are available from Mr Phillips in room 2310. We have forty places available on a first come, first served basis and the trip is open to all years. Why not pay a visit to the trip website on http://www.westlandssnowzone.jigsy.com and see if it's the trip for you?

Health and Social Care students visit Plymouth University
Posted By: miss J. Cox

Year 11 and 12 Health and Social Care students attended a ‘Patients Journey Day’ at Plymouth University on the 2nd April 2014.  On arrival, the students were organised into groups and attended half hour workshops with professionals from the health industry.  The vocational areas represented included dietitians, occupational therapists, paramedics, physiotherapists and speech and language therapists.

As a focus for the day, the students were given a scenario of a stroke victim - discovering how each of the professional roles helps stroke victims in their recovery and daily life.  In addition the students were given information and guidance about the wider role of the various occupations.

The students were expected to ask questions and join in demonstrations. Amy Lewis, Morgan Boon and Courtney Collings all won prizes for their involvement in the sessions. It was a hugely enjoyable day, with the students gaining a lot of knowledge from their interactions.  All students were very polite and behaved impeccably, as we would expect.

Year 11 student, Amy Lewis, reflected on her day:

"I did not realise how many different jobs there were in the health industry.  The Patient Journey Day provided me with first-hand experience and exposure to professionals working in the different occupational areas.  It was really useful to be able to talk to someone who has been through the process that I am about to enter and secured a job at the end of it".

Inter-House challenge produces beautiful bonnets
Posted By: miss J. Cox

The inter-house challenge for last half term proved to be a very seasonal affair.  Each tutor group was tasked with creating an Easter Bonnet - with all students participating on some level.  The intention being that tutor groups came together to produce a high quality, imaginative creation.

Students were asked to research different ideas, design a bonnet and create their chosen design.  The tutor groups were given 5 weeks to produce their finished item.

On Friday 4th April, each tutor group presented their Easter Bonnet - anonymously - for judging.  Mrs Kane selected the winning design and kindly agreed to be photographed modelling the bonnet that was awarded first place.

Once again, the creative flair of Mrs Cooper's tutor group, P-CPR, shone through, seeing them win a second inter-house challenge.  Mrs Taylor's tutor group came a very close second.  We would like everyone to join us in congratulating Peters House - and P-CPR specifically.

Westlands students encounter snakebites, burns, hypothermia and broken legs
Posted By: miss J. Cox

Students and staff from Westlands School Outdoor Education Team volunteered to perform the role of 'casualties' to help with training for the Ashburton Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team.  The day-long event involved simulated accidents and emergencies designed to test and develop the skills of the rescue team members. 

The blog post below, written by Mrs Darby, outlines the action packed day:

"If there is one thing that we love, it is helping out our friends at Ashburton DSRT. We know that they would be there to help us if we needed them (no offence guys but we hope that never happens). Saturday 15th March was the third time that we have played the part of stranded Dartmoor casualties and I like to think that, along with some of our Westlands youngsters, we are getting quite good at it. Lucy Atkins, for example, is becoming a very convincing "Stroppy Teacher" and Fi Darby is now an expert at the role of "I've Lost the Kids". For this training session however, the acting awards have to go to our youngsters who, with the help of judiciously applied make-up, portrayed convincing snakebites, burns, hypothermia and broken legs (we promise to learn the difference between a femur and a tibia for next time!)

The beautiful weather was a mixed blessing, it was lovely to have a rare opportunity to sit on Dartmoor in the sunshine but the excellent visibility made us far too easy to find. We are planning to wear camouflage next time! However, even on a lovely day it is not too difficult to imagine what you would be feeling if your scenario was real rather than make-believe. Seeing red jacketed Rescue Team members appearing over the hills to offer help is always a moving experience.

The depth of knowledge and experience of the Ashburton team once again provided a unique opportunity for both ourselves and our youngsters to learn about managing difficult expedition situations. Our older lads were particularly impressed and we know that they aspire to becoming team members themselves when they are old enough.

We would all like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to all involved in the training exercise. The experience was, once again, an invaluable one and the care, attention and encouragement offered to our youngsters by the already hard-working team members was heart-warming and very much appreciated. A particular thanks to Mickey for liaising with us over our scenarios, to our minders Lugs, Andy and Si for looking after us so well, to the lovely ladies who made ten extra meals so that we could join in with dinner and to "Bill" and "Bill" the paparazzi who were impressive in their persistence and really made me laugh.

Any time you need casualties guys, you know where we are … or do you!?!

Pictured is Westlands School's Sian Lyden, Year 10, playing it cool whilst on a stretcher ride.

Term Dates
The current term finishes on Friday, 17th October 2014. Students will return on Monday, 3rd November 2014.

Come and visit some lessons and experience life at Westlands School. Your child will also have the opportunity to participate in a work-shop or mini-lesson. Please let us know which morning you would like to attend on 01803 400660 or admissions@westlands.torbay.sch.uk

  • Thursday 25 September, 9-10.30 am
  • Friday 26 September, 9-10.30 am
Upcoming Dates
Thursday, 25th September 2014 Open Morning
Friday, 26th September 2014 Open Morning
Saturday, 27th September 2014 11+ Tests
Friday, 17th October 2014 Current Term Ends
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