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At the end of February 2017, the school once again played host to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM)’s, ‘Roman Roadshow’, to celebrate the local discovery of the third largest Roman coin hoard in Britain, known as the Seaton Down Hoard.

The event was designed to spur a passion for Roman history and archaeology amongst our Y7 students, and also pupils from Colyton Primary School, through activities such as coin-striking, metal-detecting and contemporary object handling.

The RAMM has been holding similar events across the county to mark the discovery of 22,888 Roman coins by a local metal-detectorist in 2013, near the iron-age fort of Seaton Down.

Students were also given an opportunity to view several coins from the hoard, and to learn about the conservation processes used by the RAMM since they acquired the coins in July 2016.

Six students from Year 11 helped to run the show, and all students and staff in the school were invited to attend a lunchtime drop-in session.

Head of History, Mr Harris, called the roadshow, “highly successful”, and noted how students had, “shown a real passion and enthusiasm” for their local history.

The roadshow will continue to tour local schools and colleges, staffed by both volunteers and sixth form students, until the coins go on formal display at the RAMM in July 2017.

By Edmund Kelly, Student Reporter.


Feb 2017: Congratulations to Cole, Lewis, Harry, Ardal, Ben, Sachin and William in year 8, who have made it through to the final of BP’s Ultimate STEM Challenge. In March they’ll head to London’s Science Museum to present their entry in front of a team of expert judges. They’ve used innovative thinking and strong STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills to get this far, so wish them luck!

Students Achieve Hockey Success

Feb 2017: The Under-14 Boys’ Hockey Team has recently seen success in the Devon Hockey Finals, held at Blundell’s School in Tiverton. The team finished second following a series of impressive victories against schools from across Devon, including West Buckland, South Dartmoor, Plymstock and Blundell’s.

Although the team went on to lose narrowly in the final to Exeter School, they have qualified for the preliminary round of the South West Regional Finals, to be held in late February, and a good performance there would secure a place at the South West Regional Finals to be held at Millfield School in March.

Head of PE Miss Shute called their performance “a fantastic team effort,” and praised the students, “superb stick work and tactics.” The team had shown, “a lot of potential,” in preparation for the next round, she added

By Edmund K, Student Reporter.


Feb 2017: Year 13 student Nick C has finished first in a gruelling UK-wide Air Cadet Pilot Scheme.

The scheme involves 200 students each year, with participants spending two weeks in Dundee to complete 12 hours of flying.
The Air Cadets is a nationwide organisation which provides young people with opportunities to take part in adventure activities, sport, ceremonial drill, flying and a wide range of other activities.

Nick (17), is Flight Sergeant at 2381 Ilminster Squadron and has been attending since he was 12 years old.

“I really enjoyed the experience and I learnt a lot”, Nick said.

By student reporter Grace H

Robotics Competition

On Wednesday 11 January 2017, two teams of students got the opportunity to host a VEX Robotics ‘Scrimmage’ against Bodmin College.

Both teams were already through to the Nationals round of this robotics competition, and so the scrimmage was simply for practice and fun – allowing the teams to try some new tactics against one another (and show off their robots!).

This year, Colyton had both a sixth form and lower school team – thanks to the second robotics kit donated by VEX, and so this was the first time that the younger team had had the opportunity to compete.

Whilst Bodmin won the scrimmage overall with their impressive pneumatics system, it gave all the teams an opportunity to consider some modifications to their design in preparation for the next few competitions (Regionals in February and then Nationals).

Both teams enjoyed the event, despite the problems they encountered (such as getting the robot stuck beneath the fence - a bar that divides the arena) and are looking forward to the next stage in the competition.

As well as the scrimmage, the CGS Sixth Form Team has entered an online challenge to create a 'storybook' illustrating their time as an all-girls robotics team.
Here is the link to their Photobox page

By Tallie B, student reporter

Seaton Down Hoard Conservation Workshop in the RAMM

Following on from a morning workshop for primary schools hosted at CGS in November 2016, five Year 12 students, accompanied by History teacher Mrs  Brooker, were invited to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter to meet Project Conservator Sarah Klopf, for a coin conservation workshop.

The students worked with the famous Seaton Down Hoard – a collection of 22,888 Roman coins found near Seaton in November 2013, and made in the reign of Emperor Constantine. It is by far the largest coin hoard found in Devon and the third largest ever found in Britain.

Students learnt about the science behind corrosion in copper and worked with double-lens microscopes, experimenting on their own coin from the hoard. They also worked on cleaning a coin using satay sticks and scalpels.

“It was great, I loved learning about the history and the science of the coins - I didn’t think that I’d have to use the second law of thermodynamics in this setting”, said one student.

By student reporter, Safi L

Former Students Win Prestigious Engineering Scholarships

Two former students have been awarded 2016 Diamond Jubilee Engineering Scholarships by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

Charlie Spicer and Theo Brown - who both left Colyton last July - faced a highly competitive application process after achieving excellent grades in their A-Level exams last summer.

Named in honour of the Queen, the scholarships aim to address the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills shortage in the UK,  and they provide up to £3,000 per year financial and advisory support throughout their university studies in Engineering.

Charlie said, “It’s humbling to have been picked out of thousands of other students.”  He added that he would: “Really encourage school students to apply for scholarships,” such as the IET’s.

Charlie and Theo are currently in their first year studying Engineering at Cambridge.

By Edmund K, Student Reporter.

Case Study - Theo Brown

Case Study - Charlie Spicer

CGS students take part in Devon Schools' Cross-Country

Six students have been successful in the Devon Schools’ Cross-Country Championships, held at Stover School, Newton Abbot on Saturday 21 January 2017.

Holly D (Year 7), Caitlin S (Year 9), Johnny L (Year 9), Simon D (Year 10), Elliot M (Year 11), and Johnny C (Year 11), all qualified for the regional championships after ranking in the top 10 of their races.

Particular successes include Elliot M who was first in the intermediate boys section, and Caitlin S and Johnny L who both came second in the junior races.

Johnny said: “I enjoyed this round and I am really looking forward to the challenge of the next round.”
The championships are organised by the Devon Schools’ Athletic Association and the regional (South West) championships will be held at Truro School, Cornwall,  on 4 February.

By Jonathon C, student reporter

CGS qualifying results:
Elliot - 1st Inter Boys
Simon - 5th Inter Boys
Jonny C – 10th Inter Boys
Caitlin - 2nd Junior Girls
Johnny L - 2nd Junior Boys
Holly - 5th Minor Girls

Y11 Product Design Christmas design challenge

At the start of the 2016 Autumn term, the school’s Year 11 Product Design class was set the challenge of designing and developing Christmas decorations for the Parents’ Association’s Big Art Show event, which was held in early October. Despite having limited time to design, develop and manufacture five different decorations, they managed to raise £331 for the school, with a mere £20 budget for materials.

The students first spent time researching and creating prototypes of the decorations, before manufacturing them with equipment including the school’s laser cutter; in addition to designing the products, they also had to create packaging.
They faced many difficult tasks, such as managing all the manufacturing costs in a way that would give a clear profit. In addition, the original order of three styles of decoration was changed to five. Fortunately, they met the deadline and produced 100 decorations overall.

One student, Fraser A, says the group gained "valuable experience of working for a client, as well as having an opportunity to show off our creativity and problem solving capabilities". Their success was also good for the school, as the project helped raise valuable funding.

By student reporter Divya S

Student receives Sea Cadet award

In October 2016, Rupert G in Year 8 was awarded the ‘Bob Euden Memorial Rowing Award’, for his contribution to the Exmouth Sea Cadets’ rowing team during the past 12 months.

Rupert led his team to second place in the district finals from the position of coxswain, the member who sits at the back of the boat and is responsible for steering and co-ordinating the other rowers.

The Bob Euden Memorial Rowing Award shield and certificate is presented to the cadet who has shown the most significant achievement and hard work that year.

Rupert (13), said: “I really enjoyed competing and being the coxswain, and I am very proud of my award.”

By student reporter, Megan T


Since September 2016, a team of Year 7-13 students has been working with professional journalist Lizzi Hosking, learning about the structure, content and design of magazines,
and the first edition of our new student magazine, “Seven Stripes” has just been completed.

With a very successful 14 year career in journalism (most recently as the Entertainment Director at Cosmopolitan magazine in London), Mrs Hosking has been meeting our budding journalists on a weekly basis, and has given them an invaluable insight into writing and designing magazine articles. She will continue to oversee future editions, though VI form students will be taking on the roles of editors and design editors. Well done to all the students who have contributed articles. We are very proud of how interesting and professional the end result is! If more students would like to get involved next term, listen out for notices after Christmas!

Seven Stripes Magazine - PDF

Music department hosts piano trio

At the end of November 2016, the school’s Music department hosted the remarkable piano, violin and cello group the Divertimento Piano Trio.

Year 9 students currently working towards their Arts Award, and GCSE music students all participated in a fascinating workshop session.

The students listened to the trio play movements by, and a commentary on, Mendelssohn, followed by performances of 18 individual compositions by year 10 GCSE students, who each received feedback about their pieces.

The trio had not seen the music before but their performances were “marvellous”, commented music teacher Mrs Lester.
 “It was certainly a step up from sight reading!” she added.

By student reporter Millie D

Success in ESAA National Cross Country Cup Final

In early December, five boys in years 9 & 10 travelled to the English Schools’ Athletic Association (ESAA) Cross Country Cup Final in Formby, near Liverpool.

Simon D, Johnny L, George T, Dylan H and Matt W ran on the sandy coastal paths of Lancashire, which made the course extra challenging. Despite this the boys performed exceptionally well, running spectacular five and a half minute miles, and finishing in the impressive position of 13th in the country - coming above both Truro and Millfield Schools.

“Reaching the final of this prestigious event is increasingly competitive,” commented the school’s Head of PE, Miss Shute. “The boys are the top team in the whole Southwest region.”

“I am really proud; they performed brilliantly on the tricky terrain. It was a great team effort and a fantastic achievement,” she added.

By school reporter Rida M

. . . more about the competition

School sends over 2000 items to Foodbank

Dec 2016: Students have collected over two thousand food items for the Exeter Foodbank after a three-week appeal.

The 2,157 items of non-perishable food - weighing over 905kg - beat not only the students target of 1,000 items, but smashed the school’s previous record of 1,364 items.

Led by Year 11 student, Jemima P, tutor group 10 Cedar collected donations from across the school community.

Jemima organised the campaign as part of her ‘Independent Learning Project’, and was assisted by fellow Year 11 student, Ece W, and Physics teacher Mrs Fitzhenry.

Pete Scott, from the Foodbank said: “In one week Exeter Foodbank feeds 80 to 100 people using just under a tonne of food. Therefore this is amazingly valuable - we can’t say a big enough thank you.”

Headteacher Mr Harris thanked the students, saying, “It is testimony to your set of values – this campaign is very important, especially at this time of year.”

“Jemima has been one of the best organisers we’ve ever had, and the 10 Cedar students have been superb,” added Mrs Fitzhenry, who has been overseeing the school’s annual collections since they began in 2009.

The Exeter Foodbank is a charity that provides emergency food to local people in need.

By Megan T, student reporter

Royal Geographical Society - Young Geographer of the Year competition

Congratulations to Geography students Fern A (16) and Grace S (14),  who were both invited to the Royal Geographical Society’s ‘Young Geographer of the Year’ awards ceremony in London. Each won an award in this year’s competition for their take on the changing geography of Britain.

Young Geographer of the Year is a national competition run by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), to encourage pupils to engage with geographical issues. Each year the competition receives entries from thousands of pupils from hundreds of schools, and this year’s competition was an opportunity for geography students to explore the question “How is Britain changing?”.

Steve Brace, the Society’s Head of Education and Outdoor Learning, said: “This year, students explored geographical change from many different perspectives. We were incredibly impressed with the entries we received. Many focused on how Britain’s physical features are changing in response to a wide range of geographical processes, while others focused on social, cultural or political change.”

The competition recognises the best entries across four categories: Key Stage 2 (students aged 9-11); Key Stage 3 (11-14); Key Stage 4 or GCSE (14-16); and Key Stage 5 or A Level (16-18). Pupils in the first three categories were asked to submit an annotated diagram or poster, while A Level pupils were asked to submit a 1,500 word essay, which could include illustrations, maps or graphs.

The awards were presented to the winning and highly commended pupils at the Society’s headquarters on Friday 25 November.  Grace (in Year 9) was Highly Commended in the Key Stage 3 category, and Fern (in Year 11) was Highly Commended in the Key Stage 4/GCSE category.

2016 Results Page

Colyton students through to national business final

Business-savvy students from Colyton Grammar School beat off competition from 15 other local teams to win the Exeter heat of ICAEW’s national business and accounting competition, BASE on Tuesday 22 November 2016.

What would you do if you were a business advisor for the day? 96 local students found out what it was like to walk in the shoes of finance professionals, as they focused on key employability skills to formulate strategic business advice for a real life organisation and delivered this to their board of directors, just like real chartered accountants.

  • Colyton Grammar impressed the panel of judges and will go on to represent the South West at the National Final which takes place in June 2017
  • The team from Blundell’s School were the runners up and all teams can be rightly proud of their achievements in dealing with a very demanding business challenge
  • This was one of 43 heats attracting over 3,000 students from across the UK


Jon Blake, ICAEW South West, Regional Director said “I was really impressed with Colyton Grammar’s performance and strategic thinking. These budding business advisers looked beyond the numbers and they also showed they had an excellent instinct for business and ethics, in order to give well-rounded advice. Congratulations to all the teams who took part. I expect I’ll be seeing more of these young people in leading business roles in the future.”

He added “Students should not lose sight of the importance of developing skills and experience, alongside their academic achievements. It is vital that students are given opportunities such as BASE to develop these softer skills outside of the classroom.

Caroline Smale, Head Judge and current President of ICAEW Chartered Accountants South West said “During the challenge we looked for the teams who supported their recommendations with ethical and financial evidence. Colyton Grammar showed excellent teamwork and time management in delivering a comprehensive proposal”.

She added “BASE is a great example of how schools, employers and young people can work together to improve skills, and can also give business leaders the opportunity to learn what motivates the next generation of talent.”

Colyton’s team of year 12 students comprises: Yuzhou T, Evie J, Agnes D, Adam L, Rachel H, Harry M.

About BASE:

BASE links schools, students and employers to develop employability skills and provide an insight into what a career in accountancy, business and finance might be like.

The competition has seen more than 13,000 students take part since it began in 2009.

The BASE competition was supported by local firms including Bishop Fleming, PKF Francis Clark, Thomas Westcott, Simpkins Edwards, KPMG, Albert Goodman, CloudApps, Eco Positive, Babcock, Pittards, JGBM, Longhouse Group, SRW Accountants, University of Exeter and Aggregated Micro Power Holdings plc  who provided professional mentors and judges.

School competes in English-Speaking Union’s Public Speaking Competition

In November, two school teams successfully competed in Round 1 of the English-Speaking Union’s Public Speaking Competition at Blundell’s School, Tiverton.

The year 11 team successfully qualified for the Exeter and District Final, with team member Edmund K, being awarded best speaker of the evening after making a speech asking, “Is America still a land of opportunity?”.

Other team members were Nathan B and Tristan C.

Similarly, the Year 9 team of Talia T, Olga D, and speaker Grace S, expertly navigated a speech discussing whether “Ecotourism is not as good as it sounds”.

Naomi E, Todd O and other sixth formers coached the students for the competition in a weekly Public Speaking club.

English teacher Mrs Love said: “Both teams performed in a polished fashion. I was particularly impressed by how Edmund and Grace were able to think on their feet, fielding questions fluently and with insight.”

The competition challenges students to engage with wide-ranging cross-curricular topics, whilst helping to meet National Curriculum speaking and listening targets. It is the largest public speaking competition in the UK, with over 400 teams entering each year.

By student reporter, Megan T


A group of five year 11 students were invited to Parliament to attend the final of the prestigious Political Studies Association’s student video competition.

The competition is held annually and addresses a trending political topic: this year it was “Do you have to be Superman/Superwoman to be US President?”

Students Naomi L, Edmund K, Jonny C, Dom M and Rowan E, all aged 15 or 16, took on the challenge by arguing that popularity is the most important thing to becoming the President of the United States.

Their video was shortlisted in the final, held at the House of Commons, where the students were interviewed and had the chance to meet MPs and Speaker John Bercow.

When asked about her experience, Naomi said that she “found it really interesting, especially as we got to see the Supreme Court and some politicians such as Michael Gove, in real life

By student reporter Rida M

Colyton students catch a code

October 2016: Year 8 student Lucas D has represented his winning coding team at an awards evening for the Bournemouth University Coding Challenge, having won their category with their ‘scratch’ game, Fat Man.

The theme for this year’s competition was ‘Fitness and Health’, and coders were required to create a project to promote fitness to the user. The team created a game which required the player to get their character to ‘Health Level 100’. 

Certificates were presented by Bruce Wright, an animator from Walt Disney, whose credits include Frozen, Tangled and the upcoming Moana, and Lucas was able to discuss with him how to code graphical animation. The other three team members were:  Felix R, Ollie B and Robin F.

The team were also awarded tickets to the BFX – a family weekend at Bournemouth International Centre aimed at visual effects and games enthusiasts between the ages of 5-18 years, and a Makey Makey each (a device allowing the user to control a computer through play dough).

Mr Cronk, Head of Computing, said: “This was an amazing achievement for the team who worked really well to produce a very innovative solution to the problem.”

By student reporter, Tallie B

Royal marines commando challenge

October 2016: Year 13 students Matthew G, Lucy D and Corey W completed the Royal Marines Commando Challenge on Woodbury Common.

The students completed the 17k course, the hardest and longest event of its kind, as the youngest team to take part.

The course involved a challenging 10k run, many tunnels, a lake and the infamous “sheep dip” in which the trio were guided through an entirely submerged pipe by two Royal Marines. The course ended with a 6k run back to the start.

Despite these demands the team enjoyed themselves. Corey said: “It was really great to take part in and I couldn’t have done it without the other two to cheer me up!”

Between them they have managed to raise over £400 for the Devon Air Ambulance and the Royal Marines Charity.

By Ellen W, student reporter


A huge well done to Helen, Sara and the whole Art Show team for another very successful event in October 2016. The final figures show that the weekend achieved over £24,500 in art sales from the shop and gallery. The event made a total of over £12,000 after all expenses were deducted - a significant increase from the 2015 show.

This will be a big boost to PA funds and the Space4Science Appeal!

An enormous thank you to all our artists, students, helpers, sponsors, donors, staff and to everyone who came. If you have any suggestions for how we can continue to build on this success at the next show in October 2018, or if you would like to be involved as a helper or an artist, then please contact the Parents’ Association committee.

This is the second Big Colyton Art Show and what an incredible addition it has made to the school/PA calendar.
Best wishes

Rebecca Russell

Colyton Grammar School Parents’ Association

Student receives Army Scholarship

Year 13 student Zoe H (17), has been awarded an Army bursary and scholarship guaranteeing her a place at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. 

Zoe travelled to Westbury in Buckinghamshire to complete a series of physical and mental challenges in essay writing, maths, memory, reasoning and the daunting ‘bleep test’ which measures aerobic fitness. She also had to prove her leadership potential in a number of further tests and challenges.

Zoe passed all tests and will join the army when she completes her university course. She said: “I am extremely proud and excited to have received the scholarship, and I am already looking forward to Sandhurst.”

“I am keen to challenge myself to achieve further success,” she added.

By student reporter Rosa M

Student's Geography competition success

Year 13 student Lotti B-T (17), has won the prestigious Geology Photography Competition 2016, run by the University of Birmingham and open to all those currently studying GCSEs, A-levels or equivalents. The theme for 2016 was 'your local geology'.

Lottie entered her photograph of a tractor ploughing, with a seagull suspended behind, into this year’s competition called ‘Geography on My Doorstep’.

She entitled her photo ‘Fight or Flight’, referring both to the seagulls in the photo and the then upcoming European Referendum, and wrote a short passage considering the possible negative impacts of Brexit on the farming community.

She said of winning, “It was a very pleasant surprise!”.

Her photograph will be displayed at a temporary exhibition in the Lapworth Museum of Geology in Summer 2017.

By student reporter Eden S