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Colyton Student at the UK School Games

Year 12 student, Rowan E, competed in the prestigious UK School Games cycling competition, held at Loughborough University over the August Bank Holiday.

Rowan was selected as joint captain of the South West U-16 team following a successful season and representing the region at national level, including a victory in the South West Junior Cycling Series.

Rowan (16) and his eight-man team had three days of highly competitive racing, including a team skills relay, time trials and sprints, which culminated in a 70km road race across a gruelling hill circuit.

Achieving six top-ten placings - with Rowan finishing in the top ten during the scratch races - the aggregate score meant 12th place nationally for the team. The UK School Games is a multi-sport event in which top junior athletes compete in an Olympics-style event designed to give junior athletes the taste of multi-event formats.

Rowan said the event: “Provided me with a great experience”, adding that he “aims to take part in the U-18 competition at next year’s national finals.”

“It would be nice to go professional” Rowan said, adding that: “I’ll have to take it one step at a time!”

Rowan will be competing in the Youth National Time Trial Championships in Cambridgeshire during the autumn term.

By Edmund K, Student Reporter

Chess Tournament

July 2017: Three Colyton students have taken part in the Bloodworth Cup chess tournament, run by the Devon Junior Chess Association.

Edmund K (year 11), Nicky B (year 10) and Ollie B (year 8), were representing Sidmouth and played against Torquay Boys’ Grammar School, Exeter School and Newton Abbot Chess Club.

The team won the tournament with 11 match points out of 12.

Edmund said: “The whole team played extremely well and we will be looking forward to defending the trophy next year.”

Pictured are the three Colyton students with a younger team member, receiving their trophy from Trefor Thynne, Secretary of Newton Abbot Chess Club.

By Megan C, Student Reporter

International Space Apps Challenge

July 2017: Space Apps is an international hackathon that occurs over 48 hours in cities around the world. Coders, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, technologists, and everyone enthusiastic about space come together to address challenges we face on Earth and in space!

Two teams of two 6th form students from Colyton entered a recent Space Apps Challenge, which was held at the Met Office in Exeter, in which they completed one of twenty tasks designed to improve their problem solving skills.

One challenge was to create crew-friendly designs for a habitat and/or its multi-use furniture, to be used for isolation studies on Earth that are “researching the environmental and human dimensions of life on another planet”.

Alex W took part in the challenge and said it was: “Really interesting and great fun to be surrounded by people who have access to exciting computer programs and to be working with scientists with experience and expertise.”

The best entries from each category in each location are invited to the global finals. One of the two teams was ‘highly commended’ by the organisers, and the other team was one of two winners for their coding work into a ‘forest fires challenge’.

The teams were Emeline P & Sam G; Alex W & Leo W – all in year 12.

By Emilia A, Student Reporter

Concerto Concert

June 2017: Year 13 students were recently given the opportunity to mark the end of their school careers with solo performances during the annual Concerto Concert, held in the Cottrill Hall

The event is designed to showcase the range of musical talent and enthusiasm throughout the year group and to provide lasting memories of music at Colyton for the departing students.

Accompanied by the school orchestra, students played and sang a range of pieces of all musical styles, from the Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor by Bach, played on the violin by Will K and Tom Q, to a piece created by Henry Jia entirely using a computer programmer.

Mr House, Director of Music, emphasised how the concert is: “One of the highlights of the musical year for Year 13 and a key moment in their school life”. Mr House went on to say: “The very committed performances ranged from Amy Winehouse to Dvorak”. He added that he was: “Very proud of the musicians who have contributed so much to the musical life of the school in the last seven years.”

Bryony S in year 11, a flautist in the school orchestra, emphasised the “Inspiring nature of the concert” and remarked that: “I look forward to performing my own solo in two years’ time.”

Students from year 13 will also return in the summer for the annual school choir tour, which this year is a once-in-a-lifetime choral visit to Venice and Padua, including the opportunity to sing Mass in St Mark’s Basilica in Venice.

By Edmund K, Student Reporter

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Expeditions

June 2017: Colyton students have embarked on their Silver and Bronze practice Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions, on Dartmoor and Woodbury Common respectively.

256 of our students have started the prestigious awards, involving them in months’ worth of volunteering, learning skills and physical activity, whilst also completing an expedition of two and three days walking and camping.

The Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is completed by around 400,000 students annually, and the Silver Award by around 100,000.

As part of the expedition students study historical sites, plant and animal life or human activity.

Tim Guest in year 11, one of the students completing a Silver Award, said, “It was very challenging, but overall it was a really rewarding experience.”

The students now prepare for their ‘qualifying’ expeditions later in the year on Exmoor (Silver) and in the Honiton area (Bronze)

By Jonny C, Student Reporter

The CGS In-School General Election 2017

On the 8th June, as the country went to the polls, the school community came together to participate in its very own general election for the CGS constituency.

Through library polling stations run by the Politics Ambassadors, students and staff from across the school were able to participate in the democratic process and vote for one of the five major UK political parties, those being the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Greens and UKIP.

With candidates selected from A-Level Politics students, a pre-election hustings was held in addition to an ‘Election Special’ assembly, in which the candidates delivered speeches to the entire school.

In a large swing from the 2015 in-school election result, in which the Conservatives won a landslide, and from the national outcome, the school voted decisively for the Labour Party, with the Liberal Democrats coming a close second, followed by the Greens, the Conservatives and finally UKIP.

Moreover, the school saw an overall turnout of 68.1%, mirroring the national outcome, with Cedar House emerging victorious in the House turnout competition held for year seven to ten students.

Mr Harris, Head of History and Politics, said, “it was great to see so many students from across the school not simply turn up to vote, but also discuss and debate the issues that mattered most to them in the days and weeks before the election.”

By Edmund K, Student Reporter

School Magazine Wins National Award

On Monday 19th June, four representatives from the student magazine, "Seven Stripes", travelled to the Stationers' Hall in London, for a gala awards ceremony. The magazine, created entirely by the students, had been shortlisted for the national Shine School Media Awards. With only two issues of the magazine published so far, this was a phenomenal achievement, gaining recognition from a judging panel which included journalists from the Telegraph, Blogosphere, and the Daily Mail, as well as representatives from the Cartoon Museum, the Copyright Licensing Agency and the TES.

Content editors, Ruth C and Megan T, and Design editors, Millie D and Jonathan S represented the magazine team, consisting of students from Year 7 through to Year 12, at the ceremony. They were thrilled to be awarded a highly commended prize in the "Best Design and Layout" category, with the judges commenting: "This fun, witty and imaginative entry is the quintessential student magazine. It is breezy and would appeal to students immediately across the board meaning there's something for everyone... This is achieved with a creative, hand-drawn style for headers and to add interest to every page that is really well-executed and consistent. A very close runner up."

However, the highlight of the day was winning the coveted "Best Magazine" award, along with £1,000 which can be used for future printing costs, and an opportunity for three students to attend a day's workshop with the Times Educational Supplement. The judges' comments perfectly encapsulated what the magazine had been aiming to achieve: "A unanimous winner of this top prize, Seven Stripes was widely complimented by our judges. With the mixture of great content and a consistent, modern art direction, this excellent entry was described by our judges as 'a top quality school magazine'. In essence the Best Magazine award has to be given to a publication that manages to combine great content that every student would be interested in alongside a consistent design that causes readers to keep turning pages to find out what is next. Seven Stripes did that in spades - many congratulations."

English teacher, Mrs Harvey, described how proud she was of all the students, explaining how the creative, fun aspect of the magazine had made it stand out from the others in the competition. Helped initially by journalist Lizzi Hosking, to whom the team are incredibly grateful, the students have shown great leadership, independence, and above all, a flair for written and visual communication. It is hoped that this award will encourage more students to join the team, and keep the magazine going for many more years.

By Megan T, Student Reporter

Carnegie Book Shadowing

The school's book shadowing group hosted a ‘voting party’ for this year’s Carnegie Medal Award on Tuesday 13 June 2017, which was attended by a group of eleven Y5&6 pupils from Colyton Primary School, who came with two of their teachers.

The Carnegie Medal – given by the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP) - is a literary award that annually recognises an outstanding new book written for children or young adults

Books are nominated by children’s librarians all over the UK, and CILIP released this year’s shortlist of eight books about 10 weeks before the winner will be announced, giving the chance for shadowing groups such as Colyton’s CAKE (Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Enthusiasts) club, to read the list and decide upon their own winner at their annual voting party.

After hearing Colyton Primary School pupils’ creative ‘tweet’ reviews of ‘Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth’ by Frank Cottrell Boyce, the members of CAKE club, which is run by Sixth Formers, presented some very honest reviews of the books they had read, finally voting ‘Salt to the Sea’ by Ruta Sepetys the group’s favourite.

When talking about Salt to the Sea, Johana P in Year 7 said, “I became very involved with the characters, who followed me in my dreams, greatly inspired me, and changed my view on the world. I would eat my hat if I came across someone who didn’t enjoy Salt to the Sea!”.

The winner of the Carnegie Medal Award is announced towards the end of June each year at a ceremony in London. The full 2017 shortlist can be found here and Colyton’s book review page can be found here.

By Megan T, Student Reporter

Student’s Chocolate Fund Raiser

May 2017: Year 12 student Naomi E has raised £120 towards charities who work to combat modern-day human trafficking and slavery.

The money was raised from a raffle in which all the prizes were chocolate.

Naomi said it was “A great experience to do something positive to help counter this awful crime.”

Every 30 seconds another person becomes a victim of human trafficking.

Naomi was raising funds for the Anti-Slavery Partnership, who aim to support victims, disrupt criminal activity and prosecute perpetrators.

More information can be found here.

By Jonny C, Student Reporter


The 2016/17 Senior Prefect Team has completed a highly successful year in office, handing over to a new team of year 12 students for the next academic year.

Under Head Boy Will K and Head Girl Rosie L, the team aided staff and students in organising a series of events, and represented the student body at formal school occasions such as the Carol and Remembrance Services.

In addition to the Head Boy and Girl, the 8-man prefect team comprised of Emily D, Jonty Et, Alfie H, Katie J, Elly M, Todd O, George P and Victoria S, who are all now in year 13 and about to sit their A-Level examinations.

Over their year in office, the team raised just under £670 for their chosen charity, The Project, who offer advice and support to young people suffering from mental health difficulties in Axminster and the local area.

Former Head Girl Rosie L emphasised how she was “sad it’s over" and praised her fellow team members as “a lovely group of people to work with”. Furthermore, Rosie wished good luck to next year’s team, which will be headed by Alex A and Hannah B, along with their expanded 12-person prefect team.

The new senior prefect team for 2017/18 were selected by students and staff across the school, with those students high up on the list of votes received, going on to be interviewed for the positions of Head Boy and Head Girl.

Head Boy Alex A and Head Girl Hannah B, are joined by Harry A; Ellen A; Tallie B; Naomi E; Anthony F; Harry M; Matthew S; Eden S; Yuzhou T; Eleanor T; Alex W and Imogen W.

The team will be expected to attend and help at all school events; be the happy, smiley faces of the school and partake in important fundraising events throughout the school year. They also act as role models to younger students, who they help settle in with their day-to-day school lives.

The incoming team said: “The outgoing prefect team, led by Will and Rosie, have done a tremendous job over the past year and we wish them the best in all their future leadership endeavours!”

By Edmund K, Student Reporter

The outgoing team

The incoming team

PA Garden & Food Festival 2017

We were lucky with the weather as the sun shone all day for the 2017 Garden & Food Festival, which took place on Saturday 13 May.

Over 1,300 visitors enjoyed the plant, craft and food stalls and the entertainment. The Hands on Science team did impressive physics demonstrations and helped children make their own rockets. There was plenty for children to do - launching rockets, games, crafts and a chocolate fountain, face painting and henna tattoos. The Seaton Majorettes and the Colyton Tae Kwon-Do both put on fine displays. Visitors enjoyed lunches of African & Caribbean dishes, crêpes, quiches, canapés and Pimms - and of course the PA BBQ.

This was another very successful Garden & Food Festival, with visitor numbers up 30% and a fantastic £6,500 raised for the PA’s ‘Space4Science £100k Appeal. This will soon go towards improvements of the science facilities.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this event - either by donating cakes, prizes, plants, advertising or by helping on the day. Special thanks to the hardworking sixth formers and younger students for all their enthusiastic help and to the musicians who entertained the visitors and stall holders. Also to all the staff, especially the site staff, who started at 6am to ensure a smooth running day. Thanks to the PA committee members for much and varied work behind the scenes and to the PA and parents who organised and ran the amazing PA stalls: plants (the Gnome’s name was Jeremy, if you were wondering), café, cakes, BBQ, uniform, raffle, tombola, books, children’s activities, preserves (we sold out - a historic first!), entrance gate and parking - there were over 400 cars - not forgetting all the road signs that are needed to get them here.

Finally, a huge thanks to Sharon and Frances who ran the Festival for the first time this year. It takes months of hard work to prepare for this public event.

If you want any information on this event or are interested in having a stall next year, please contact the PA via our website.

Artful Physics Competition

May 2017: Year 12 student, Alex A, has been shortlisted in the 'CREATIONS Artful Physics' competition.

Students from across the UK were invited to create an artistic piece in any medium, that would engage young people in physics and astronomy, and inspire future scientists. Alex described his piece as “a poster showing the scale of physics, from the very large to the tiny."

The top three entrants won a ‘money can't buy’ tour of the Rutherford Appleton research labs at Oxford University. The finalists got to ‘see how microchips were built, pull apart camera sensors under a microscope and see a sensor capable of capturing one million frames per second’.

Alex (16) said that: "There were some amazing entries to the competition, and whilst mine didn't win, it was great to see what other people had achieved".

Head of Physics, Dr Usher, commented: "I'm very proud of Alex's effort and achievement.”

By Divya S, Student Reporter

Ten Tors Challenge

Three Colyton teams successfully completed the Ten Tors Challenge in early May 2017, one team completing a 35-mile hike and the other two teams completing 45-mile routes.

The 18 Colyton students, all aged 15-16, completed the expedition after having trained every fortnight since October, and carefully planned and prepared for their journey.

When asked, they said that the most difficult part of the whole event was dealing with blisters - but that the difficulty was well worth the euphoria of crossing the finish line.

Anton T, a member of the 35-mile team said, “It was very rewarding, I can’t wait to do it again”, referring to the enthusiasm almost all of the walkers expressed when asked if they would be attempting a longer distance next year.

Team Manager Mrs Lear said: “All teams completed successfully – some footsore and weary, but all still smiling.”

The Challenge is limited to 2,400 individuals (four-hundred teams of six teenagers). The teams, depending on age, face hikes of 35, 45 or 55 miles (56, 72 or 88km) over the rough terrain of Dartmoor, visiting ten nominated tors/check points in under two days. The teams must be self-sufficient, carrying all that they need to complete their route and wild camp safely overnight.

By Megan T, Student Reporter


45 mile (Girls) Y11: Rebekah A, Hannah B, Charley G, Leah H, Emily M, Jemima P

45 mile (Boys) Y11: Fraser A, Dan C, Jo H, Archie M, Felix W, Max W

35 mile Y10: Alex B, Tom F, Louis R, Nicola R, Anton T, Joise W

Playing with Words

May 2017: Year 11 student, Absana R, is joint first winner of a new writing competition - TYPe It Up - which was organised by The Young Pretenders (TYP) theatre company based in Exeter.

TYP ran the competition for the first time this year – and admissions were open to young, Devon-based writers looking to further their creative writing skills under a brand new mentorship scheme.

Absana’s story The Actor involves a fame-obsessed actress, who we later learn is a prisoner with wild hopes and dreams.

Absana (16) will work with the theatre group in the summer on a production of her work. It will be performed as a rehearsed reading by members of the extended TYP company.

By Rida M, Student Reporter


May 2017: Novelist Cynan Jones recently visited the school, giving a talk and leading a workshop for the school’s A-level English students.

He is the author of works such as Cove and Everything I Found on the Beach, as well as The Dig, a challenging 2014 novel studied by students in preparation for coursework.

Mr Jones discussed his writing style as well as his use of place to reflect character, taking questions from the students.

Later, he ran a writing workshop and demonstrated ways of “cutting down” sentences in order to “strengthen them”.

English teacher Mrs Bean said, “It was thrilling to have such a well-respected writer visit Colyton. He was illuminating, encouraging and inspiring.”

Photo by Bernadine Jones

Zimbe! Cathedral Performance

On Saturday 25 March 2017, all of the school’s various choirs put on their annual performance at Exeter Cathedral.

In the first half, the senior and chamber choirs performed a variety of traditional choral pieces to an audience of almost 600, and the junior choir sang ‘Rhythm of Life’ from Sweet Charity (in three-part harmony).

In the second half of the performance they were joined by children from St Mary’s Primary School in Axminster, to sing Zimbe!

The composer of Zimbe! Alexander L’Estrange, joined the choirs to play the piano during the performance and also offered his great advice during rehearsals. The choirs were also joined by a small band, which included a guitarist, percussionists and a saxophonist.

Director of Music, Mr House, said: “It was a great pleasure and privilege to conduct the 200 voices of the combined choirs. Zimbe! is an infectious piece of music, you just have to move and smile when performing or conducting. Our annual choral concerts in Exeter Cathedral are wonderful occasions and to have the composer himself there performing with us was excellent. I believe it will have given all those involved a long-lasting memory of fantastic music-making. Book the date for next year’s performance of ‘Messiah’ – Saturday 24 March 2018”.

Alexander L’Estrange said that he “thoroughly enjoyed the evening”, and praised Mr House for all the work he had put in.

The evening was a wonderful occasion for students and audience alike, and the senior choir is now looking forward to its summer tour to Padua, Italy at the end of July.

By Ellen W, Student Reporter

Formula One In Colyton

March 2017: Two school teams were successful in the F1 In Schools Challenge Regional Finals, held at South Devon University Technical College in March.

The competition requires students to fundraise for, design and build a model F1 car, which must then be presented to a panel of judges and raced against competing cars from around the world.

The six-man year 12 team, named ‘Hawk Racing’ and captained by Eliane R, finished in third place in the Professional Class, with a time of 1.45 seconds on the track.

The four-man year 9 team, ‘Fire Dragon’, captained by Abhijit B, finished in third place in the Development Class, and additionally received the Best Presentation award.

Eliane praised her team’s “excellent work,” adding that “the whole team is looking forward to the next round.”

Hawk Racing will now progress to the National Finals at Silverstone, where a top performance would secure a place at the World Finals next August.

By Edmund K, Student Reporter

Maths Inspiration

March 2017: 60 Year 11 Maths students recently travelled to the Forum Theatre in Bath for an event hosted by the Maths Inspiration foundation.

The event was designed to inform students about career opportunities involving Mathematics, with a series of lectures from well-known academic and industry figures.

Speakers included Jennifer Rogers, a statistician at Oxford University; Paul Shepherd, an engineering lecturer at the University of Bath; and Colin Wright, director of a marine radar company, and to the surprise of many in the audience, a juggler.

Maths Inspiration is a foundation providing a national programme of interactive lecture shows throughout the UK for secondary school students, putting maths in the context of its real-world applications.

Student Ben J said: the talks were “very informative” and “full of insight.

By Edmund K, Student Reporter.

Geography Students Enjoy Live Link with Arctic Research Station

In the spring term, Geography students enjoyed a live ‘link-up’ to an Arctic Research Station as part of Arctic Live! 2017.

The students had the opportunity to ask a range of questions about day-to-day life at the research station and the work that is being carried out there.

Year 8 student Sophie L said: “Talking to researchers at the station really made our learning come alive.

Arctic Live is an annual education event that connects classrooms globally with members of an Arctic expedition based at the Research Station in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard - the most northerly permanent settlement in the world.

Thanks were particularly due to the school’s brilliant IT support team, led by Mr Dominic Russell.

Colyton Students Perform Shakespeare

A group of Year 8 students had great success when they travelled to Bristol at the end of the Spring term 2017, where they performed Shakespearian scenes in Clifton Cathedral as part of the Bristol & South West Regional Final of the English Speaking Union’s (ESU) ‘Performing Shakespeare’ competition.

The ESU provides teachers with resources to enable and encourage their students to submit a short video of themselves performing a monologue or duologue from any of Shakespeare's texts.

All students receive feedback and the best entries are sent forward to the regional finals, which include an educational workshop and a live performance of their chosen speech. Winners from each region are invited to the national Grand Final in London each spring.

Head of Drama, Mrs Brownley, said: “All students had worked hard to prepare for the event and I was very impressed with their confident presentations and the way in which they brought their Shakespearian characters to life.”

Of six students commended by the judges, four were from Colyton: Lydia B, Amie A, Maisie L and Charlie H.

Charlie, from Ottery, was especially successful as he was awarded overall ‘best performance’ in the competition and will progress to the national finals in London.

Other students taking part were: Chloe D, Violet S, Rayya N, Bethan R and Kate S.

By Megan C, Student Reporter


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 K, 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 Grace H, Student Reporter

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 Safi L, Student Reporter

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 Divya S, Student Reporter

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 Megan T, Student Reporter


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 Millie D, Student Reporter

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 Rida M, Student Reporter

. . . 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 Megan T, Student Reporter


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 Rida M, Student Reporter

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 Tallie B, Student Reporter

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 Rosa M, Student Reporter

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 Eden S, Student Reporter