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Dec 2017: Year 12 student Sam CK, has enjoyed the opportunity to play trombone for jazz legend Mike Westbrook’s 'The Uncommon Orchestra' in his latest production A Bigger Show, on tour in London and the south-east. The show features a 21-piece ensemble, three actors, vocalists and a range of musicians.

Mike Westbrook is a jazz/rock pianist who has led and composed for a multitude of groups, including his 1960s ‘Sextet and Concert Band’ and the jazz-rock group ‘Solid Gold Cadillac’. He has upwards of 40 albums to his credit.

Sam was contacted by Mike Westbrook via the Devon Youth Jazz Orchestra, as he was a known player with them. Mike was a trombonist short for his upcoming tour and since then Sam has become a core player for the band – one of his latest gigs was to Birmingham in December 2017.

Sam said: “Playing alongside such top musicians has really inspired me to practise harder and the whole experience has opened my eyes to a new level of musicianship.”

By student reporter Megan C


Autumn Term 2017: Two teams of three students took part in the local heat and branch final of the English Speaking Union's Churchill National Public Speaking Competition for Schools, held at Exeter Golf and Country Club. 

Both teams took part in the local heat, with one progressing to the branch final, in which the top public speaking teams from across the County competed for a place in the regional finals. Each team was composed of a speaker, who delivered a five-minute speech upon a given topic, a questioner to expand upon the topic, and a chair to organise the discussion and audience questions period.

The team from years 9 and 10: speaker Grace S, chair Ben M and questioner Talia T, competed against teams from St James’ School and Torquay Girls’ Grammar School in the branch final, with Grace delivering a speech on the topic of, “Should we all be feminists now?”.
The English Speaking Union is a non-political organisation devoted to promoting the use of the English language as a means of the communication of knowledge and understanding, running annual competitions such as the Schools’ Mace and Churchill Public Speaking Competition.

Naomi E, a year 13 student who trained the team along with a group of other sixth-form volunteers, said that, “everyone performed superbly and the judges’ feedback reflected that.”

By Edmund K, Student Reporter


Dec 2017: A school-wide four-week appeal last term resulted in over a tonne of food being collected for Exeter Foodbank

The 2,533 items of non-perishable food weighed in at 1,040 kg, exceeding a tonne for the first time since the school’s annual collections began in 2009.

We beat our initial target of 1,000 items within just a week, before going on to break the previous school record of 2,157 items.

Led by Physics teacher Mrs Fitzhenry, tutor group 10 Oak collected donations from across the school on a daily basis.

Pete Scott, a representative from Exeter Foodbank, explained: “This is a fantastic effort!  Sadly, this amount of food will go out of Exeter Foodbank every week. 55 tonnes were given out last year.”

Headteacher Mr Harris has thanked the students, saying, “This is an amazing achievement – your hard work is evident in (the donations) we see.”

“10 Oak have been truly brilliant,” added Mrs Fitzhenry, “they never missed a date for stocktaking or morning collections. They have shown superb enthusiasm”.

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


Dec 2017: These are the designs chosen for the school's official Christmas cards this year.

new science lab opened

Nov 2017: The school has officially opened its brand new science lab, funded by a donation of £100,000 from the Parents’ Association.

An opening ceremony saw the presentation of a cheque from current chair of the PA Carolyn Blanshard and former chair Mark Agnew, to head teacher Mr Harris, along with members of the school’s senior prefect team.

The new science lab, funded by the PA’s Space 4 Science Appeal, is designed to provide additional specialist science accommodation; 88% of our students take at least one science subject to A-level.

The PA reached its £100,000 target through direct donations, the sale of second-hand uniform, plus a series of events such as the summer Garden and Food Fair and a silent auction.

A statement by the PA said, “We have been committed to helping the school achieve this and we are delighted to announce that in May 2017, we reached our target of £100,000.”

The PA will be running a further series of fundraising events this Christmas, including the annual Festive Evening, a cabaret-style performance of student musicians and dancers.

By Edmund K, Student Reporter


Nov 2017: Engineering Club students have recently been awarded significant sponsorship from the Royal Society, for a restoration project in partnership with a local business.

The Royal Society is a prestigious scientific academy for scientists from Britain and the Commonwealth, dedicated to the promotion of scientific excellence at all levels of society. The project grant of £1356, to be completed in partnership with Axminster Tools and Machinery, requires the students to restore a four-stroke JAP Stationary Engine which will be presented to industry experts. Students have been invited to attend a Partnership Grants Conference due to take place at the Royal Society on 1 March 2018. The conference is organised purely for students to give them a chance to experience a true scientific symposium.

Axminster Tools and Machinery, the largest single employer in Axminster, has been a corporate partner of our school since the last academic year, providing professional guidance and mentoring to students studying Design and Technology here.

Twelve students ranging from year seven to the sixth form are to be led by Design and Technology teacher Mr Froud and a team of student leaders, in their project to restore the engine.

Fraser A, a year 12 student and club leader, emphasised how the partnership will prove “an exciting opportunity for students to engage with engineering.”

By Edmund K, Student Reporter

Engineering Club students with Mr Froud

Colyton Student at UK Schools' cycling competition

August 2017: 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 8 June 2017, 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 19 June 2017, 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

June 2017: 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

May 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

May 2017: 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

March 2017: 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

Jan 2017: 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

Jan 2017: 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

Jan 2017: 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

Jan 2017: 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