Expectation & Excellence
established 1546

NEWS ARCHIVE: 2016 -2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010


Y11 Product Design Christmas design challenge

At the start of the 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, 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, a team of Year 7-13 students have 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. I am 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, 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

About the competition:

School sends over 2000 items to Foodbank

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.

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 Young Geographers Photography Competition, run by the University of Birmingham.

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 exhibited in the University for the next year.

By student reporter Eden S

Colyton students cement champion status with city prize

A group of sixth formers began the new school year in style and found out what young people need to get ahead in business in a conversation with ICAEW’s Chief Executive, Michael Izza. The champions of ICAEW’s business and accounting competition, BASE, spent the day in London to receive their prize money (£500 each), improve their employability skills and bolster their CVs.

About BASE:

  • Colyton Grammar School beat 47 other teams in the BASE National Final
  • Almost 300 students, aged 16 – 19, were set a fictitious challenge and asked to act as ICAEW Chartered Accountants, testing their communication skills, financial, ethical, and team work capabilities
  • Judges included business professionals from Amnesty International, Save the Children, Cancer Research UK, NSPCC, WaterAid and SportsAid
  • The final concludes a series of 48 regional competitions involving over 500 teams from schools and FE colleges around the UK

ICAEW’s Chief Executive, Michael Izza said:

“It was great to meet the winning team and congratulate the students who impressed some big business names with their bright ideas, ethical considerations and communication skills. These are the exact skills employers tell us they are looking for to help make their businesses a success, so I am sure the BASE final was just the beginning for these students.

“Too many young people are leaving education without having had the chance to fully consider their future options or how their skills and experiences fit with opportunities in the jobs market. Young people must have the opportunity to develop softer skills in addition to their academic achievements and it is vital that businesses are receptive to this too – business leaders need to create more opportunities to connect with schools and young people. BASE is a great example of how schools, employers and young people can work together to improve skills, and can equally give business leaders the opportunity to learn what motivates the next generation of talent.”

Business & Economics teacher Mrs Rew said:

“What a fantastic result for the students; they performed at a very high level, displaying excellent teamwork, decision making and confidence in delivery. This has allowed our students to consider what accountancy is really about – it’s certainly not just numbers: business acumen is critical.”

Students at the final had the chance to meet tuition providers and employers including AAT,  BPP, Crowe Clark Whitehill, Deloitte, EY, KPMG, Mazars, RSM Kaplan, Smith & Williamson and PwC.

The BASE final took place at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel on 30 June 2016.

The winning team is: Todd O, Keir L, Daniel V, Jonny S, Charlie K and Henry M


Year 9 students Joshua G, Grace S, Romilly S and Olivia P, took part in the first ever ‘poetry slam’ of the 2016 Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival - held between the 15-18 September.

A poetry slam is the competitive art of performance poetry. It puts a dual emphasis on writing and performance, encouraging poets to focus on what they're saying and how they're saying it. These performances are usually judged by selected members of the audience or by a panel of judges.

The four Colyton students – all aged 13 – were first tutored by professional poetry slammers John Paul O’Neill and Maddy Sakahini. The participants worked in pairs to compose a poem with the aid of a given stimulus.

Joshua and Grace were the overall winners of the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival Poetry Slam - performing in front of over 150 people. Romilly and Olivia also did a super job with their poetry and performance.

Mrs Bean said: “I am tremendously proud of all four students involved.  They worked very co-operatively and imaginatively, produced some stunning poetry and conquered their nerves to perform confidently and with feeling.”

By student reporter Safi L

Here is the winning poem about two people in different places and times, who are linked together by a painting that depicts the sea, called the "Wild Storm". They each have different futures ahead of them: one character is an old man, whose life is set in the past. After a long and fulfilling life as an artist, he drowns in the same ocean he always loved to paint. The other character is a young girl whose life is set in the future; in this world, art and creativity are forbidden, and the outside is an idea as insubstantial as a dream. However, these people, linked through the Wild Storm painting, realise they are not afraid of change:

The sea will always carry me home

The tides will take me where I belong

Old writing, from centuries gone,
writing made in smooth strokes by artist's cracked hands

The waves will break against the rocks; the cycle will continue forever

This painting is my window space;
who knows what the Outside really looks like? Who would want to know?

The waves are here to calm our fury;
I know the outside holds no dread

A wild, tossed-about ocean,
sunset gleaming on the horizon, dark clouds rumbling in the sky

The comfort of
A thousand rippling rays

The painting is beautiful, studied in schools, yet forbidden to those who know how to dream

The waves are free,
Unconfined and unrestrained

I turn away and dress myself
In uniform attire

the waves take me with them, their power forced upon me, and yet I trust them still

I am radiant on the outside,

One cannot capture the beauty;
the sea cannot be painted

But the Wild Storm painting is another kind of Beautiful; unrestrained, powerful, free

lost forever in the eternal moment
of blissful infinity

Who knows what lies outside,
but I am not afraid

There is a certain beauty
in what we don't know

My guess is that it will be

Another kind of beauty entirely


Science students reach Peake of success

Year 12 students Sam G and Emeline P have gained places at the ‘Principia’ conference at the University of Portsmouth, for their work in the Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘Rocket Science’ initiative.

Last year, schools in the UK each received 120 seeds: 60 had been on the International Space Station with astronaut Tim Peake on his ‘Principia’ mission, and the other 60 had remained on Earth.

At Colyton, Sam and Emeline assisted year 9 students in growing, testing and recording the behaviour of the seeds before sending them off to be analysed by a team of biostatisticians.

They then took their work a step further by writing up their findings and researching similar studies. Their work was sent to the UK Space Agency which rewarded them with places at the Portsmouth Principia Conference in November.

They will present posters and models showing their project to a panel of judges, including astronaut Tim Peake, who will also be giving talks about his time in space.

Emeline said: “I'm really glad that I could be part of this new scientific experiment and am very much looking forward to going to the conference and maybe meeting Tim Peake himself.”

By Megan T, student reporter



Nine of our sixth form students took part in the finals of the European Youth Parliament competition in September.

The competition is an educational programme designed to bring together students from 40 countries in Europe, to discuss political issues in a parliamentary setting.

Students Charlie O, Richard C, Alfie H, Mia S, Todd O, Jasper T, Rosie L, Matt G and Luke J travelled with Head of History, Mr Harris, to Liverpool.

Richard said that, “We debated in the format of the European Parliament and at the end we got to go to a fancy dress party. It was great fun and we had to think on our feet.”

Mr Harris said that the trip was very successful and some students have been selected to follow up on their success by continuing in the next round.

By student reporter Emilia A


Colyton hosts cross-country competition for local primary schools

In September, the school hosted the first round of the National School Games cross-country competition, for local primary school children in years three and four.  Colyton’s Year 12 Sports Leaders hosted the event alongside sports coordinator Mrs Harris, for 150 children from All Saints, Beer, Kilmington, Shute, Seaton and St. Mary’s primary schools.

Despite the miserable weather, the event went ahead and the children did superbly. After playing some warm-up games the children all completed the race ( 2½ laps of the football field).  “I think all the children really enjoyed the activities that the Sports Leaders helped them with, as well as the opportunity to race in a fun and competitive environment”, said sports leader Max R (16).  “The sports leaders also had a lot of fun delivering the activities and watching the children enjoy themselves and improve their skills”, he added.

The winners in a very tight race were, for the boys, Seaton and All Saints; and for the Girls, Kilmington and Beer. All four qualify for the East Devon Round at Bicton College on Friday 4 November.

We wish them the best of luck!

By student reporters Millie D and Emilia A

Silver Duke of Edinburgh's award expedition

In September, a group of adventurous year 12 students made their way to the hills of Exmoor, to take part in their qualifying expedition for the prestigious Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

The expedition, which involved 23 students in four teams, took place over three full gruelling days of walking, with two overnight camps at designated sites. It involved some very challenging routes – all of which had to be planned by the students themselves.

Megan T (16) – a member of the ‘Cirque de Sore Legs’ team, said: “The DofE award has allowed me to discover and develop new skills and interests, I would definitely recommend it!”

By student reporter Rida M


During the summer holiday Millie D and Hannah B, who are both in Year 12, spent three weeks taking part in the National Citizenship Service (NCS) programme.

For the ‘Adventure’ section of the scheme, the girls joined other 15-17 year olds in Cornwall and took part in activities such as kayaking, sea-cliff climbing, hiking, cycling the Camel Trail, and paddle boarding.

Phase two was at Bicton College to experience university-style independence. Presentations on health, anxiety and diversity preceded team-building and guided reflection sessions.

Week three’s venue was Exeter Football Club to create a social action project, during which they raised £3,900 for UNICEF’s work helping Syrian refugees.

Millie said: “NCS was a really great informative experience, in which I made new friends and improved my leadership skills. It’s an amazing opportunity.”

“I’d thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking for something new and out of their comfort zone,” added Hannah.

Millie and Hannah (both 16), attended a graduation ceremony at the end of September, receiving a certificate signed by the Prime Minister and entry to the NCS graduate programme.

NCS is a charity that runs a 2 to 4 week programme in the spring, summer and autumn holidays. It aims to develop skills in leadership, confidence and independence.

Student plays at Edinburgh Fringe Festival

August 2016: Year 13 student Rosie L (17), has had an exciting trip to Scotland to take part in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as part of the prestigious South West Camerata String Orchestra.

The orchestra is a string ensemble formed from exceptional young Devon musicians. With the West Sussex Gifted and Talented String Academy, and directed by Colyton music teacher Mrs Lester, the orchestra played Glazunov’s Saxophone Concerto in St Giles’ Cathedral.

Later in the day, both orchestras performed together informally on the festival’s Mercat Stage, which is situated along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.

Rosie said that, “It was a daunting proposal when I was first asked to learn the concerto, but it was very rewarding and I am very glad that I did it.”

By student reporter, Megan T

Student completes Duke of Edinburgh's Diamond Challenge

August 2016: Tallie B in year 12 has completed a special ‘Diamond’ Duke of Edinburgh Challenge.

The Diamond Challenge celebrates the Duke of Edinburgh Award's 60th anniversary. To complete it and receive the diamond pin, participants had to raise a minimum of £60 for the DofE charity.

16-year-old Tallie raised her money by drawing and selling her own nature inspired art. She also organised a lucky dip at the school’s summer fair.

When asked about the award, Tallie said: "It was a great experience. I encourage others to do take part in it, it's well worth it!"

By student reporter Divya S

Click here for the DofE Diamond Challenge website.

Students win festival scholarships

July 2016: At the end of the summer term, sixth form students Megan T, Millie D and Divya S attended the prestigious Ways with Words Festival at Dartington Hall, after earning places on the Festival’s bursary scheme.

Ways with Words is a “festival of words and ideas”, in which delegates attend lectures by national figures such as Professor Alice Roberts; former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone; Professor Marcus Du Sautoy; former Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Lord Hattersley; Jonathan Dimbleby; and former Business Minister Sir Vince Cable.

Subjects ranged from Shakespeare to humanitarianism to chaos theory.

Megan, Millie, and Divya were granted full scholarships to attend all ten days of the festival after sending in applications detailing their interests and their hopes for the future.

Millie said: “It was a great experience; I learnt so much and it was a fantastic opportunity to meet such highly regarded people.”

By student reporter Megan T

Longest-standing member of cgs teaching staff retires

At the end of the 2015-16 academic year, Colyton Grammar School said goodbye to one of the longest-standing members of its teaching staff, Mrs Nicci Humphries.

Nicci taught Physical Education at the school for 33 years, seeing the school expand from the 350 students to over 800 and growing.

Her familiar voice has encouraged thousands of girls and boys over the years to excel in sports lessons.

Mrs Humphries has always given enormous commitment in terms of extra-curricular activities in the school. Her many successes include regional and national triumphs for students in netball and tennis. She will continue to be involved with netball in retirement.

Starting as Head of Girls' PE at the school, Nicci maintained huge levels of commitment despite being part-time for a number of years.

Her favourite memories from her time at Colyton were probably the legendary ‘ski trips’ to Europe and the USA. “Seeing everyone in a different light, having fun and exploring new places” were the highlights of these brilliantly organised activities.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time here, and I will miss everyone!” she added.

“Nicci has been an absolute star in the school for many years”, said Mr Richard Bush, Deputy Headteacher. “I was lucky enough to go on three ski trips and they were truly memorable in all sorts of ways.”

“Nicci is a truly dedicated professional and we wish her the very best of retirements!” he added.

mfl cooking competition

Summer Term 2016: Year 11 subject ambassadors for Modern Foreign Languages hosted a ‘House’ cookery contest for students in Key Stage 3 during one lunchtime, when their finished products were judged by Headteacher Mrs Wainwright and Deputy Heads Mr Bush and Mr Gregson.

The contestants from Year 7 had to translate a chocolate fondant recipe from French, while the Year 8s had to make Lebkuchen. It wasn’t easy though - each team had three red cards to swap for words that they couldn’t work out, as well as mystery ingredients such as curry powder and salt instead of sugar. Luckily there were no disasters!

The competition was enthusiastically received, with Cedar House winning the Year 7 round and Beech winning for Year 8.
“It was really fun to organise and watch”, said Year 11 ambassador Safi L. “I thought it went really well as an event”, she added.

By student reporter Millie D


Summer Term 2016: A team of four Year 7 and 8 students has been to the Royal Horticultural Halls in London, to compete in the national final of the UK Mathematics Trust’s ‘Team Maths Challenge’ (TMC).

The TMC is a competition which gives secondary school and college students the opportunity to tackle a variety of engaging mathematical activities while developing teamwork and communication skills.

To qualify for the final the team first had to compete in one of 65 regional finals.  In the final there were five challenges including group and individual rounds and even a maths relay against the clock. There was also a poster competition based on the topic of folding, which included origami and hexaflexagons!  “We really enjoyed planning and creating our poster”, said one of the team members.

"The four students represented the school superbly in the competition, coming 64th out of an original field of 1770 schools.” said Maths teacher Mr Rowe.

The team were: Simon and Ben M, Rebecca N, and Ollie P.

By student reporter Grace H


July 2016: A team of six Year 12 students has won the ICAEW’s BASE National Business and Accounting Competition at the national final held at the Birmingham Metropole Hotel in early July.

They beat 47 other teams from across the United Kingdom, winning £500 each, an employability skills day for the whole school and an exclusive trip to London to meet the ICAEW’s chief executive.

The team had to analyse a range of issues facing fictional charity ‘Action for Community Youth’, including opportunities for Government funding on international projects, completing their 8-minute presentation of their conclusions to a panel of three judges with exactly no seconds left on the clock!

The winning team: Charlie K, Keir L, William M, Todd O, Jonny S and Daniel V

Dave Payne, senior marketing executive for ICAEW and a key organiser of the competition, said, “We’ve seen a fantastic amount of talent here today, and special congratulations must go to the winning team from Colyton. They really epitomised the skills that our employers across the country look for."

BASE is a national accountancy skills competition run by the Institute of Chartered Accountants since 2007.

By senior student reporter Todd O


June 2016: Tom O in Year 12 has recently been selected from over 1,200 applicants to join the prestigious Sutton Trust Programme in the USA this year.

The Programme provides extensive support to talented state school students seeking a gateway into United States universities.
The selection process involved an application with essays, grades, a school reference and video interview. Tom (17) commented that the process “took his entire Christmas holidays, but was definitely worth it”.

As one of the 150 students selected, Tom has access to a vast number of resources and added, “I am supported by some of the most dedicated and talented students and counsellors from both sides of the Atlantic.”

The programme consists of a week-long visit to the United States at the end of July, when the selected students will be staying at the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, and will have the opportunity to attend master-classes at Ivy League institutions such as Dartmouth College and Harvard University.

By Student Reporter Rida M


Summer Term 2016: Deputy Headteacher Mr Gregson recently hosted the Senior Prefect Team’s first fundraising event of their tenure: a version of Radio 4’s Just a Minute.

Organised by the Senior Prefect Team to raise money for their chosen charity - The Project - four panellists were challenged to speak for just a minute without hesitation, deviation or repetition.

Physics teacher Mr Lynch and Head of English Mrs Harvey were joined by Year 12 students Sophie C and Todd O.

Topics for the impromptu contributions ranged from Theresa May to socks and Valentines’ Day, raising nearly £100 from the lunchtime audience of students and staff. Year 9 student Elsa C said, “It was a great laugh and I really enjoyed it!”

The Project is a mental health charity based in Axminster, focused on supporting and improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of young people.

By senior student reporter Todd O


June 2016: Harry M in Year 11 successfully competed in two prestigious national orienteering competitions in June: the British Sprint Championships in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and the British Middle Distance Championships at Leith Hill in Surrey.

In the sprint event, Harry (16) ran a gruelling 3.4km over a mixed terrain qualifying for the finals and finishing an impressive fifth in the 15-16s male category. In the Middle Distance Championships Harry was up against the national top 18 orienteers on a very technical 4.6km cross-country course, finishing seventh.

Harry is now ranked ninth in the UK. He said: “Running in the Olympic Park and on Leith Hill was an amazing experience and the areas were much more challenging than those I’ve seen previously.”

By student reporter Megan T


June 2016: Sixth Form students Todd O and Phoebe T gave a presentation on independent learning at the South West Academic Trust (SWAT) Teaching and Learning Conference at the University of Exeter.

SWAT is a partnership of leading selective schools in the Southwest, that work together to raise achievement and improve schooling in the region. Todd and Phoebe’s presentation, entitled ‘Independent Learning – thinkers or do-ers?’, was given to a room packed with teachers and provided the ‘student voice’ at the conference.

Evidenced by a survey they had conducted earlier in the year, Todd and Phoebe discussed how students perceive independent learning, whether they think that it is useful or important, and how it can be improved.

This was followed by a challenging question and answer session, and finally by their audience of teachers offering congratulations and asking for advice.

Mrs Harvey, Head of English at Colyton and who also spoke at the conference, said: “I was very impressed by the confidence with which they spoke, especially as some of the questions were particularly challenging!”

By student reporter Megan T

Colyton Students Win Mock Trial National Championship

June 2016: A team of Year 9 students has become national champions in the prestigious Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition.

After months of practice, and winning a regional heat, the team of 12 travelled to the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Saturday 18 June, to compete in a final against 11 other schools. The team competed two cases: one about an alleged assault, and another regarding online harassment.

The Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition is run by the Citizenship Foundation as part of their ‘Law in Schools’ scheme, which aims to introduce students to the legal system in an interesting and inspiring way.

Nationally, the competition involves around 4,000 students from 300 schools, all judged by real magistrates. In order for the Colyton team to win the shield, they each had to excel in a variety of skills including teamwork, developing an argument, and public speaking whilst in various court roles.

History teacher Miss Solomon, the coordinator of the Mock Trial team, said, “It’s a fantastic achievement. We are very pleased to regain our title as national champions.”

The students are: Nicola R; Archie K; Oliver S; Alan GW; Josie W; George T; Zoe G; Megan G; Joe G; Isabella H; Jake B; Anton Torres

By student reporter, Megan T


July 2016: Several of our students have entered the Budleigh Salterton Fine Arts Society (BUDFAS) ‘Young Arts’ competition, in which local primary schools children’s writing is illustrated by secondary school students, through original artwork.

More than a dozen Colyton students produced three canvasses which will be displayed on the Jurassic Coast walk.
The students were able to come up with three designs on an African theme to illustrate the stories using bright colours, balloons and animals.

The artists worked through their lunchtimes to complete the work and were “very excited” to be given the chance to produce work on such a large scale. ]

By student reporter, Evie J

Art Technician Mr Fitzgerald with two of the murals


Summer Term 2016: Students took part in a series of events surrounding the European Referendum, mirroring the wider engagement of the British population.

The Sixth Form Politics ‘ambassadors’ began by organising speakers to come from both campaigns, to talk to members of the Sixth Form and answer questions. Ben Bradshaw MP, the Labour MP for Exeter, spoke to students on behalf of the Remain campaign. He discussed the future of peace in Europe and the continuing benefits of the common market.

Shortly after this the ambassadors invited William Legge MEP, the 10th Earl of Dartmouth, to come and speak on behalf of the Leave campaign. He responded to questions on regulation and trade negotiations, to a similarly engaged audience.

As a final event before the referendum itself, Colyton’s local MP, Neil Parish (Con.), was invited to speak in a debate. Mr Parish spoke on behalf of the Remain campaign, whilst the Leave campaign was represented by Year 11 student and Politics Ambassador, Eden S. The debate touched on four key areas of debate, with a time for general questions afterwards; Mr Parish said he was very impressed by the quality of the questions and the level of political interest shown by Colyton students.

On Thursday 23 June 2016, Colyton held its own mock referendum, with a high turnout of 68%. The result came out as a strong win for the Remain campaign, contrary to the national decision. 510 votes were cast for Remain, compared to 135 for Leave, a roughly 80-20 split. Oak House had the highest turnout, topping the 72% mark and winning the inter-House competition.

The Politics Ambassadors say they are “incredibly pleased” with the way all the events ran, and said that, “all the work had been worth it.” They look forward to future events and say their minds are already turning to the November election in America!

By Y11 Student Reporter, Eden S

Photo shows Y7 student Lewis D casting his vote in the library, which acted as Polling Station on the day


June 2016: 15-year old Tallie B has recently had success as runner-up in a prestigious national short story competition.

The Reader’s Digest 100-Word-Story competition has been running for 6 years. The top stories in each age category are published together and then readers are asked to vote on-line for their favourite. 

“I just entered for fun”, Tallie said when talking about the success of her story. “As for the other stories, I thought they were both really good”, she added. 

By student reporter Millie D

Here is the link to Tallie’s story 'Trapped', read by Martin Clunes.

Y11 student wins Trail Magazine's 'Young Mountaineer of the Year' award

Spring Term 2016: Joe H in Year 11 was declared ‘Young Mountaineer of the Year’ by Trail magazine.

Joe (16), who climbed Snowdon when he was five and completed The Welsh 3000s Challenge with a broken hand, was chosen as winner of the 13-16 year old category by a panel of three veteran mountaineers.

The judging panel included leading British rock-climber Leo Houlding, Trail editor Simon Ingram and Bonita Norris, the youngest person to have both climbed Everest and reached the North Pole. Simon Ingram said “For me Joe exemplified a lot of what makes a well-rounded mountaineer: fascination with and appreciation for the landscape, eagerness and true grit! A demonstration of the positivity and self-growth mountains can promote.”

As well as being one of the first three people to receive the title, Joe also won a personalised trophy and a collection of outdoor clothing and equipment.  He said “I am really grateful to have been awarded this prize and hope that it will enable me to go higher and further in the future.”

Photos show Joe in the French Alps - one snow and ice climbing and the other rock climbing.


May 2016: A group of 12 Year 9 students travelled to Worthing in Sussex and won the Regional Heat of the Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition.

The Magistrates' Court Mock Trial Competition, which has been running annually since 1994, introduces the legal system to young people in an innovative and exciting way. In the roles of lawyers, witnesses, magistrates and court staff, students prosecute and defend specially written criminal cases. Teams compete against each other in real Magistrates' courts in front of real magistrates.
The team had been practising weekly since October on their particular court case and needed to excel in areas such as teamwork, speaking with confidence and clarity, and developing an argument. Year 9 student Megan G, who acted as a defence witness, said: “We are very excited to have won the Regional heat and are very much looking forward to going to London to compete against other schools in the National final.”

The final takes place in June at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

By student reporter Rosa M

Oliver S
Archie K
Nicola R
Zoe G
George T
Alan G
Josie W
Joseph G
Megan G
Anton T
Jake B
Isabella H

y8 students take part in salters' festivals of chemistry

May 2016: Four Year eight students travelled to Bath University, to take part in an event as part of the Salters’ Festivals of Chemistry.  The festivals are an initiative of the Salters' Institute. Their objective is to help promote the appreciation of chemistry and related sciences amongst the young.

Competing against 10 other schools, the team had to apply skills of observation, deduction, and careful experiment to identify the victim and chief suspect of a fictional murder.  The team successfully completed five challenges involving techniques such as chromatography, test tube analysis, and manipulation of chemical reactions, achieving first place overall.

Another challenge, “Save the TARDIS”, involved students using sodium bicarbonate and citric acid, with the aim of reducing the temperature of a beaker of water to 10.5 degrees C in one minute.

As well as individual certificates, the team also won three sets of molecular models for the Chemistry department.

Team member Grace S said: “I think the trip really enhanced our knowledge and showed us how much fun chemistry can be when applied to potentially realistic scenarios.”

By student reporter Safi L

Team: Annabelle M, Grace S, Sasha S, Rebecca N

BBC Radio 4's Any Questions broadcast from school

May 2016: Crowds descended on the school in May for the live broadcast of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Any Questions’, hosted by Jonathan Dimbleby.

Watched by a packed hall, the guest panel comprised former Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP, former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown, Former Labour front bencher Rachel Reeves and Baroness Jenny Jones of the Green Party. They faced questions on topics ranging from famous gaffes to the EU referendum.

Mr Gregson, Deputy Headteacher at Colyton, said, “It was great to see so many people - parents, governors and the wider community, all coming together in the newly refurbished Cottrill Hall - it’s a pity that we haven’t got twice the capacity!”

“Our thanks go to all the people who ensured that the event ran so smoothly, including Mr Cook, the school’s Business Manager, who masterminded the evening”, he added.

Mia S, a Year 12 Colyton student who attended the event said: “There was an interesting range of questions that were thought-provokingly answered by the panel.”

Any Questions’ is broadcast weekly on a Friday evening on BBC Radio 4 at 8pm, presenting political debate and discussion through questions from a live audience. The episode broadcast from Colyton is currently available on the BBC iPlayer.

By student reporter Todd O

U14 East Devon Rounders Champions

A fantastic afternoon of rounders at Uffculme on Tuesday 24 May. The Colyton squad of 15 played superbly, displaying excellent skills in the field and strong batting tactics.

v Sidmouth        Won 4-3
v Cullompton     Won 4.5 – 2
v Uffculme         Won 7 – 3.5

v Axe Valley       Won 5 – 3.5

v King’s              Won 3 – 2

The team now represent the area at the Devon Summer Games in Paignton on Wed 29 June. We wish them luck in the County Final!

Morgan S (Capt), Josie W, Delilah P, Caitlin R, Hermione Tr, Sophie B, Charlotte Y, Holly E, Sophie H, Zarina D, Hannah M, Ella C, Nicola R and Xanthe D

EU Referendum debate between MP Neil Parish and Colyton student

May 2016: Neil Parish, Conservative MP for Tiverton and Honiton, visited the school in May to argue the case for staying in the EU in a formal debate.

Year 11 student Eden S (16) was Mr Parish’s opposition, arguing that Britain should leave the EU.

The debate is part of a series of events being run by the school’s Politics Ambassadors, to promote discussion of the referendum amongst students.

Asked why he felt it was important to participate in school events like these, Mr Parish said, “Because you are the future. You are the ones that these decisions will affect the most.”

Mr Harris, Head of History and Politics, said, “We are very grateful to Mr Parish for joining the debate here at Colyton, and feel sure that the students found the event enlightening.”

These events and an upcoming student debate will be concluded by an in-school EU in-out vote on the day of the referendum.

By student reporters Megan T and Todd O

Photo: Politics Ambassadors with Neil Parish: James M, Phoebe T, Eden S

former student stretches his wings

May 2016: A Royal Navy Jet Pilot from East Devon has been promoted and takes up new appointment in the Middle East.

Commander Tim Flatman, who grew up in Seaton and attended Colyton Grammar School, has been promoted after leading the Fleet Air Arm’s 736 Naval Air Squadron at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose in Cornwall.

Tim became the Commanding Officer of 736 NAS in 2013, and during his tenure transferred the squadron from an almost civilian structured outfit, to become a fully manned Royal Naval Unit.
736 NAS Fly the Hawk T1 jet, which is responsible for providing realistic targets and fast attack profiles to Naval Ships operating in conjunction with Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST).

Commander Flatman joined the Royal Navy in 1997, after leaving school and working at the Anchor Inn in Beer.  After his initial officer training at Dartmouth, he started flying training and was selected for Fixed-Wing, which he completed in 2002. He flew the Sea Harrier FA2 with both 800 and 801 NAS embarking in HMSs Ark Royal and Invincible. Crossing over to the Harrier GR7 in 2004 he went onto an embarkation with HMS Illustrious and completed two frontline Operational tours of Afghanistan on OP HERRICK, conducting Close Air Support in support of coalition troops. He has served on 3(F) Sqn RAF, 800 NAS and the Naval Strike Wing with the Harrier GR7.

Leaving the Harrier in 2007, Tim moved on to RAF Valley in Wales with 19(F) Sqn as Tactics and Weapons instructor on the Hawk T1, and teaching students in their final phase of flying training before being streamed to front-line types. He returned to the Harrier Force at RAF Cottesmore in Lincolnshire and completed several staff jobs in 2009, before Advanced Command Course in 2012. He returned to flying duties with the Royal Naval Hawk detachment at Yeovilton before moving to Cornwall and becoming Commanding Officer of 736 NAS in June 2013.

“I’m very honoured to be promoted to Commander and take up a new appointment overseas,” said Tim. “I’ve been incredibly lucky and had an exciting career so far in the Royal Navy, and especially having worked with some fantastic people. I’m looking forward to the next few years as the RN gets its new aircraft (the F35 Joint Strike Fighter), and the Queen Elizabeth class carriers.”

Students publish in-house Psychology magazine

May 2016: Two Year 11 students, Ellen A and Ellen W, have issued the first Inside Psychology school magazine.

The girls, both 16, gave up their spare time to compile articles from fellow students, as well as writing their own, to provide more resources for Psychology classes and to further their studies.

With the help of Psychology teacher Mrs Porter, the girls collected pieces written during lesson time and as part of independent studies, before editing and typing them up. After being so well received, the Inside Psychology team is aiming to release a new issue every half term.

“We have been really interested in psychology from the start”, explained Ellen A. 

“It was rewarding to see the finished product and share it with other members of the school to publicise the subject”, Ellen W added.

By student reporter Millie D

The first issue of Inside Psychology is available to read by clicking on the image below:

Student comes third in national ‘German language Olympiad'

May 2016: Year 12 student Elsa G - pictured below - has achieved the amazing feat of coming third in a national competition despite being much younger than the other competitors

As part of her pitch to take part in a Goethe Institut-sponsored ‘Olympiad’ in Germany, she produced a video which so impressed the judges that she was one of only seven chosen to compete in London.

Throughout the day, as well as showing off her German skills, she also had to show creativity and teamwork as she worked with the other students to create group presentations on the topic of 'school', as well as a variety of other creative tasks. “I was quite surprised to come third as all of the other competitors were very impressive,” Elsa said.

The Olympiad, open to all schools, was organised by the Goethe Institut, but as a PASCH school (a partner in the ‘Schools: Partners for the Future’ project), German students at Colyton were encouraged to take part.

Elsa (17) plans to further her language education at university and says: “I am really glad to have taken part, as it was a very interesting experience and helped my German speaking”.

By student reporter Tallie B


May 2016: No fewer than five Colyton Grammar School teams completed the Ten Tors Challenge on Dartmoor in early May, a fantastic achievement and a new record for the school.  There were two 35 mile teams, one 45 mile team, two 55 mile teams and a few students also walked with teams from other organisations.

Mrs Lear, deputy team manager, said: “The Ten Tors training this year has been an absolute pleasure, with the dedication and quality of trainees being evident from the outset. We are so proud of them all”.

Most teams had a very early start, with the 55 mile team waking up at 3am to start walking at 5am on one morning. The teams were faced with the challenge of dry, warm weather in contrast to months of training in mostly wet, windy and cold conditions.

Grace H, who completed 45 miles said: “It was a challenging but rewarding experience and worth all the hard work”.

A truly spectacular performance by the senior Colyton team resulted in them being the first 55 mile team to come in.

By student reporter Emilia A

EU Referendum talk by William Legge, 10th Earl of Dartmouth

May 2016: William Legge, 10th Earl of Dartmouth and UKIP MEP for the South West of England, has visited the school to speak to students about the arguments for a British exit from the European Union.

The talk followed a similar event in which Ben Bradshaw, Exeter Labour MP and former Government minister, presented the arguments against a so-called ‘Brexit’.

The event, organised by Year 11 Politics Ambassadors, consisted of a speech followed by a question and answer session.
Mr Legge said, “It is very important that everyone, not just young people, is involved in this debate.”

Mr Harris, Head of History and Politics, said: “We have been very fortunate to hear two such knowledgeable speakers.”
“We hope that these events help to stimulate discussion in the school community”, he added.

The school will be holding its own ‘CGS EU Referendum’, with the library hosting polling stations on the same day as the real referendum.

By student reporter Todd O

Visitor from Flood Forecasting Centre gives talk to students

May 2016: Mr Graeme Boyce, Strategy and Development Officer at the Flood Forecasting Centre (FFC), has visited Colyton Grammar School to talk to students.

Mr Boyce gave a talk to Year 7 students on forecasting wide-scale flooding, hurricanes and storm surges.

Students from Years 11 and 12 were given a detailed presentation on the models used by the FFC to predict flooding, linking this to a range of socio-economic and political issues.
Mr Boyce said: “The work of the Flood Forecasting Centre is important because it protects lives and livelihoods.”

Year 7 student Danae P said: “We were very fortunate to have a talk from such an expert on flooding.”

The Flood Forecasting Centre, based in Exeter, is a partnership between the Environment Agency and the Met Office, combining meteorology and hydrology expertise into a specialised hydrometeorology service.  The centre forecasts for all natural forms of flooding - river, surface water, tidal/coastal and groundwater, providing five-day forecasts to emergency responders, including emergency services, utility companies and central government.

By student reporter Todd O


Senior Choir performs at Exeter Cathedral

April 2016: On Saturday 16 April, the school’s Senior Choir performed their annual concert at Exeter Cathedral.

Over a two hour period the Choir performed two pieces: Haydn’s ‘Nelson Mass’ and Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria’, accompanied by four soloists including former Colyton students.

The Choir was conducted by Director of Music, Mr David House, and accompanied by a professional orchestra that also included former students and current members of staff.

Mr House said: “It was a brilliant concert; I am very proud of all of our performers, they really made the music come to life.”

Headteacher Mrs Wainwright said: “It was a lovely evening in a fantastic venue, enjoyed by a very large audience.”

The Senior Choir is Colyton’s largest student group, comprising over 150 singers rehearsing on a weekly basis.

By student reporter Todd O

Success in f1 in schools competition

Six Year 12 students have won the ‘Best Research and Development’ prize in the F1 in Schools national finals at Silverstone Circuit, as well as coming third out of 28 teams in the ‘Reaction Racing’ category.

As part of the F1 in Schools Technology Challenge Competition, run by F1 in Schools UK, students had to design and build a miniature Formula One racing car, which then raced against cars from other teams in the finals.

Members of the Colyton team ‘Impulse’, were Jonny W (Team Manager), Harry W(Design Engineer), James H (Manufacturing Engineer), Richard C (Research and Testing), Izaac C (Graphic Designer), and Michael O (Marketing).

Zeus Braking, Westec Precision Ltd, and Barden Aerospace and Super Precision all agreed to sponsor the Colyton team, as did locally-based engineering firm SC Group (formerly known as Supacat), and the University of Exeter.

Michael said: “F1 in Schools has been a fantastic experience and a great insight into the world of Formula One. The team punched well above their weight, up against established teams with as much as £25,000 sponsorship.”

Richard added: “F1 in Schools is the perfect opportunity to have lots of fun, learn about Formula One, and improve important skills.”

The students were also treated to a gentle lap of the circuit in the School Minibus!

By student reporter Alfie H


Summer Term 2016: Two year 12 students have been presented with their Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards.
Georgia S received her Bronze Award and George P achieved a Silver.

“I’m really glad that I have this,” said Georgia of her success. “I’m proud that my hard work has paid off!”

The award involves completing an expedition, as well as developing skills in sport and volunteering.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a charity that has been dedicated to helping young people “give it their all” since 1956. This year is the charity’s 60th anniversary and they are celebrating with a slogan calling for “everyone to give it their all in 2016”, with a special Diamond Challenge which is open to anyone of any age.

ben bradshaw - are 'eu iN'?

May 2016: Ben Bradshaw, Exeter Labour MP and former minister, has visited the school to deliver a talk on why Britain should remain in the European Union.

Year 11 Politics ambassadors Eden S and James M organised the visit as one of a series of events designed to inform students about the opposing views in the run-up to the referendum.

Mr Bradshaw commented that he was impressed that “Colyton students had organised the event.”

He went on: “The referendum is the most important vote any of us will be taking part in in our life-time.”

 “It is young people who will have to live with the consequences for the rest of their lives,” he concluded on the consequences of ‘Brexit’ and the benefits of a ‘Bremain’.

Mr Bradshaw took questions and recommended that young people should: “Talk to their friends and families about the issue.”

Eden and James are in the process of organising a “Brexiteer” to come into school so that a balance is struck.

“The event was a huge success,” said Mr Harris, Head of History and Politics.

By student reporter Evie J

Ski Trip Success

Easter 2016: Over the Easter holiday the school ski trip to Colorado took place from the 29 March to 6 April.  The Winter Park Resort trip has been taking place for a number of years now, always being well received and this year was no exception.

The Colyton group flew out from Heathrow to Denver on a 9 hour flight, with a coach journey to the resort to follow.  Perfect conditions for skiing pertained with wide slopes, powder and some enjoyable tree runs. Head boy, Will K, spoke of the Terrain Park being “especially enjoyable” as the group was able to try the ‘mega half pipe’ which was very exciting.

Students were able to ski around the seven territories of Winter Park with another highlight being The Cirque, at 12,000ft and skiing down on the double black diamond, a steep, challenging run.  Will said, “Being one of the eldest I loved helping out with activities and having a role of responsibility on such an enjoyable trip to an amazing part of the world.”

However it was not just the skiing that everyone enjoyed, but a variety of other activities including tubing races, film nights and being able to eat out at a different restaurant each night, with Smokin’ Moe’s being a clear favourite.

The trip was a huge success with a wide range of exciting activities being provided and many new experiences being tried, enabling the group to take away many fun memories. 

By student reporter Evie J

For information on the 2017 Ski Trip to Les Menuires, France – see school website/calendar for further details or contact Mr Robinson (Trip Organiser) via

Awe-inspiring cycling in aid of children's Hospice South West

A team of seven Sixth Form students has completed a 260km Charity Cycle ride from Lyme Regis to Land’s End in aid of The Children’s Hospice South West. Team members had to cycle long distances over hilly, challenging terrain to raise over £2500.  Generous support came from Lovell’s Garage in Ottery St Mary, who lent a support van.

Navigator Jonty E said that the team chose to raise money for The Children’s Hospice as “It’s a charity that supports so many families across the South West.”
“Without it,” he added, “the lives of so many local people would be so much more difficult.”

The team visited one of the three hospices on the last day of their ride to see for themselves the amazing work that the charity does.

The cyclists were: Jonty E, Andrew T, Charlie S, Tristan A, Joe W, Rebecca H and Patrick L.

By student reporter, Rosa M


sport relief success

March 2016: The school’s participation in this year’s Sport Relief charity event has been a great success, with numerous activities raising lots of money for the cause. The senior prefects and sports leaders, led by PE teacher Mrs Harris, managed to make every event count.

The school played a staff v student version of A Question of Sport which took place in the main school hall, culminating in a ‘dance off’ between the team captains. Senior Prefect Katie J enthused, “I loved being a part of the student team and Mr Robinson’s dancing was the highlight.”

On Sport Relief ‘Day’, the students were invited to exchange one piece of uniform for a bright red item, in return for a 50p donation, and the ‘Sport Relief Mile’ took place on the all-weather pitch at lunchtime, with much of the school community taking part as walkers, runners and leap froggers.

Year 11 student Becky T said, “It was great fun taking part in the event with so many other people, especially as it was raising money for such a good cause!”

Other events on the day included, the ‘Keepy-uppie Challenge’ and the ‘House Silver Line’ where the school Houses competed to create the longest line of silver coins.

Not all of the money has been collected in yet, but at the time of going to press the amount raised is £1,452.25

By student reporter Evie J

Elmwood music recital

Spring Term 2016: Various groups of music students have visited Elmwood Retirement Home in Colyford to entertain the residents over the years. Colyton’s flute group – ranging from 12 to 18 years in age - continued this tradition recently with a small concert for the residents.

The flautists played a selection of songs such as the show tune Edelweiss, My Favourite Things, themes from James Bond, The Great Escape, Wallace and Grommit, and various other classics.

The residents thoroughly enjoyed the performance and sang along to their favourites.

Several of the younger girls who had never performed at Elmwood before said they had had a fantastic experience.

“I had a lot of fun playing the songs and it was really great to see the residents of Elmwood singing along.” said Ffion, age 12.

The performance would not have been possible without the two oldest members of the flute club who have ran the club for the past three years: Elle C and Jasmine H.

Their commitment to the club has resulted in many successful concerts.

By student reporter Hannah M


February 2016: The school has a new senior prefect team for 2016 - Todd O, Jonty E, Katie J, Ellie M, Victoria S, Emily D, Rosie L, Will K, George P and Alfie H were all selected by students and staff.

The selection process involved a student vote and a teacher vote, with those high on the list interviewed by Headteacher Mrs Wainwright and Head of Sixth Form Mr Smith, to decide the new Head Boy and Girl.

Will and Rosie were chosen to represent the school as Head Boy and Girl.

Mr Smith remarked about the selection process: “We wanted it to be as fair as possible; the student and teacher votes are equally weighted and each year they make a good choice.”

Senior prefect member Todd O commented: “It’s a great privilege to have been selected; we’ve got a really great team this year and we’re all very much looking forward to playing our part.”

The Senior Prefect team is expected to attend and help out at all school events, represent the school and set an example to the younger students. Each year they also coordinate important fundraising events.

By student reporter Georgia S

calais refugee trip

While others might have been off on holiday during the February half-term, year 12 student Max H made it his project to travel to Calais with donations he had collected from school friends and the wider community to help feed refugees.

Max raised over £500, which was used to purchase four car-loads of food.

Max’s trip was part of the French aid organisation L’Auberge des Migrants, founded in late 2008 to provide emergency food supplies to migrants in and around Calais.

Max said: “It was an amazing, thought-provoking experience and also gave me an insight into what I would like to do after school.”
“I’m considering taking a gap year after A-Levels to work as a volunteer aid worker,” he added.

As well as taking donations, Max also volunteered for several days at the local distribution warehouse, sorting donations and preparing and sending out food parcels.

By student reporter Todd O

Would i lie to you? charity event

Sixth Form students have run yet another successful lunchtime charity event. 

The school’s hilarious twist on the panel game ‘Would I Lie To You?’ had a brimming Cottrill Hall in fits of laughter as the audience heard about some of the weirdest and wackiest events in six teachers’ and two students’ lives.

On the Girls’ team was: Mrs Fitzhenry, Miss Westhead, Ellie C and Mrs Swait.  On the Boys’ team was Mr Lynch, Mr Banks, Xavier F and Mr Rowe. 

Despite the final results coming to an inconclusive 5 - 5, both the participants and the hosts pulled out all the stops, entertaining not only the audience, but also each other.

Year 11 Student Felicity M said:  “It was brilliant!  The best thing is that it was really funny, and also for charity”

This was one of several events that Sixth Form students organised to raise money for this year’s chosen charity, Water Aid.

By student reporter Safi L

Cgs organistS at salisbury cathedral 'pipe up' event

On a Saturday in February, two young organists - brothers Greg S (16)  and Guy S (14), travelled to Salisbury Cathedral for a chance to play the great Father Willis Organ

This is one of the most impressive instruments in the country built in 1877 by ‘Father’ Henry Willis.

Greg writes of his experience:  “There were about 22 young musicians attending this event.  After registration we sat in the choir pews and were given information about the organ and how it works. Then we took it in turns to play our prepared pieces.  As the organ loft is quite small, there was a projector screen which allowed us to watch each other perform. We each played a piece of our choice and the day concluded with a recital by John Challenger – the Assistant Director of Music at the cathedral.

Both Guy and I performed well although it was quite nerve-racking. It was a great opportunity and we really enjoyed it.”

eyp regional 2016

Nine year 12 students have won the Regional Forum of the European Youth Parliament UK debating competition at County Hall in Exeter.
The team was pitted against nine others in a series of six debates covering a variety of topics, including security, the European economy and constitutional affairs.

During the results announcement, the judges attributed the team’s success to high-quality speeches, excellent enthusiasm and wide-ranging, intellectual debating points.

The Colyton team will now progress to the National Sessions in Liverpool later this year.
Team member Luke J said: “It was a great opportunity to voice our opinions on issues that affect the whole EU and to practice our public speaking skills.”

European Youth Parliament UK is part of an international federation of Youth Parliament competitions, who organise an annual Parliament-style debating competition throughout the EU, culminating in an international final.

By student reporter Todd O

Girls not vexed by the competition

A team of five girls from Colyton Grammar School have tasted success in the ‘Girls into STEM’ (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths)  VEX Robotics Competition ‘Nothing but Net’

Kendall F, Rachel I, Emily G, Zoe H and Tallie B travelled to Wellington School to take part in the regional competition.
The girls competed against five other teams, advancing to the final along with a boys team from Bristol. The girls now travel to Birmingham for the national finals at the end of March.

The competition involved constructing and coding a robot called ‘Sparky’ from scratch. They gained funding from ‘Girls into STEM’ sponsors the National Grid to do so, after winning the previous heat.

Kendall said, “There was some tough competition, but we worked well as a team throughout the day. I’m looking forward to seeing how far we can go!”

By student reporters Yazmin R and Georgia S

Photo: The team with their creation - Sparky the robot.

Girls into STEM

Colyton students progress to national final of f1 in schools championship

Six year 12 students from have attended the regional finals of the national F1 in Schools’ competition at Exeter University.
Over the course of several months the team has digitally designed, manufactured and tested a miniature F1 car powered by compressed air.

Following a number of timed races, the Colyton team’s car finished in second place.

Team Manager, Jonathan W said: “It was a fantastic learning experience and really helped to develop our communication, organisational and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills.”

The team now progresses to the national final at Silverstone Circuit in April, where they will be pitted against the other regional winners and runners-up from across the country.

By student reporter Todd O

Photo:  Jonathan W, Izaac C, Harry W, Michael O, James H, Richard C

Colyton student wins daily mail great british wildlife photography challenge

Year 9 student Isabella S has won the Daily Mail’s Great British Wildlife Photography Challenge in the Juniors category for under-18s, beating 10,000 other entries.

Isabella (14) used a Sony DSC-HX300 with a neutral density filter and a slow shutter speed to ‘get the shot.’ “I was pleased with it because the image takes you a while to work out what it is”, she said.

Isabella won £1,000 of top-of-the-range Nikon camera equipment and a publication of her photo of a jellyfish washed up on Seaton beach in the Daily Mail Weekend Magazine.

Some of those on the judging panel included wildlife expert Bill Oddie, Countryfile’s Ellie Harrison and Springwatch host Martin Hughes-Games.

By Student Reporter Georgia S

Colyton Grammar School reaches the finals of national STEM competition

A team of four students from Colyton Grammar School have been selected for the finals of the Ultimate STEM Challenge at the Science Museum in London in March.

The nationwide schools competition, launched in September 2015 by BP, STEMNET and the Science Museum, challenges UK students aged 11-14 to put their Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills to the test by tackling real-world problems.

Aimed at younger secondary school students yet to make their GCSE choices, the Ultimate STEM Challenge builds on the success of the BP Ultimate Field Trip, which has engaged nearly 3,000 UK STEM university students in the past five years, and lays the foundations for younger students considering studying STEM subjects before making their GCSE subject choices.

Schools from all over the country took part in the competition for a chance to attend a celebratory event at the Science Museum in London and win £500 for their school.

This year, students were invited to develop an energy efficient solution to one of three real-world challenges: Streamline Ships, Better Buildings or Trim Turbines.

The students going forward are Moris S, Mithal M, Grace S and Abhijit B in Year 8, who developed their best ideas for the Trim Turbine Challenge, where they had to come up with an efficient way to increase energy in wind turbines.

Mr Lynch, Physics Teacher and STEM Coordinator at the school, said: “We are extremely proud of Moris, Mithal, Grace and Abhijit. All their hard work and hours of dedication to their project have paid off. We are sure that they will do an excellent job of representing Colyton Grammar School at the final.”

Samantha Bulkeley, UK Schools Education Manager at BP, who sat on the judging panel, said: “I would like to congratulate the students of Colyton Grammar School in getting through to the finals. We were really impressed by the high standard across all the projects this year. The finalist entries really demonstrate the students’ passion for STEM and enthusiasm for experimental work, and the ability to use real world applications to solve the challenge. We look forward to seeing the students bring their projects to life at the finals in March.”

The six finalist teams will be presenting their work to an expert judging panel at the Science Museum during British Science Week. Following the presentations, the students will have the chance to participate in a day of fun science activities.

Mysterious black tunnel appears in school classroom!

A very large black tunnel has appeared in T2.  The strange piping is in fact part of the Year 11 technology class’s Engineering Education Scheme project. The EES provides work related learning within an industrial enterprise context.

The Y11 group is working with AMSafe, a major textiles engineering company based in Bridport, to develop a process for the application of a solution on a product belonging to the company – the Tarian net - which is used for armoured vehicles.

The group have named the black tube the ‘test tunnel’ as it helps them to find the optimum airspeed for drying the Tarian nets, whilst ensuring that the process is energy efficient.

One member of the group, Jason W, has contacted the Technical Director of Torin-Sifan, a major fan supplier, to find a speed controllable fan that they can use.  The air is drawn in from the fan on the left and is blown through the tube before passing over the net, which is inside the tube on the right-hand side.

By student reporter Ellen W

Parents' Association Silent Auction

Fancy a week’s holiday in a 3-bed apartment in Lagos, Portugal? Or a 2-night stay in a smart apartment in York? What about a champagne afternoon tea for two at Lord's Cricket Ground? These are just a few of the 37 amazing lots available to win in the CGS Parents’ Association ‘Silent Auction’.

Running until Sunday 20th March, the online auction has an incredible selection of prizes, offering something for everyone.

All you need to do is register on the CGS PA website and place your bid before 8pm on the 20th March. If you win, you will be notified via email with instructions for paying – details about the prizes will be appearing on the PA website shortly.

All the money raised will go towards the Space4Science fund-raising project – which aims to raise money to build a much needed science laboratory at school, and then equip all the labs with new equipment – particularly needed with 88% of students taking at least one science to A-level.

Parent organiser, Matt Day, said: “We have a great selection of lots to bid on - including a day’s cookery course at River Cottage, tickets to watch Somerset County Cricket, a light aircraft flight for two and a week in a smart holiday home in Polzeath, Cornwall.”

“Local businesses, parents and parents friends have been extremely generous in donating these lots to help fund the planned new science facilities.

Please visit the PA website to see more details of the lots and how to bid.

By student reporter, Tallie B


Recently a group of European educationalists, including a Head Teacher, a Chief Education Officer and Humanities and English teachers from France and Germany, visited Colyton Grammar School as part of a fact-finding visit to South West England.

The visitors spent a day in the school in an intensive set of meetings and observations.

Year 11 student Caroline W, from Sidbury, who helped show the visitors around said that they showed a “genuine interest in the school.”

The day was spent sitting in on a variety of lessons and looking at the differences between English and French schools.
Mr Banks, Head of Languages, said he was, “very pleased to be able to host the five visitors.”

“By the end of the day they were exhausted, but had had a very fulfilling experience,” he added.

By Eden S, Student Reporter

Sixth Form student takes part in England netball trials

Olivia W has been selected to take part in a very competitive England netball “talent and performance” academy for the U19 team.

The academy provides year-round training for talented netball players, aiming to offer opportunities to play with those of a similar standard. The academy is managed by England Netball.

Olivia, who is in Year 11, said: “Having the opportunity to train with and be mentored by England coaches will be a unique and rewarding experience.”

Following her trials she hopes to be recognised by team scouts and reach England or Netball Super League level.

By student reporter Emilia A

Colyton's Garden and Food Festival

This year, Colyton Grammar School’s annual Garden and
Food Festival aims to be better than ever. On Saturday 7th May between
10am – 4pm and with free entry, the school will be transformed by the Parent’s Association into a festival of stalls, entertainment and activities aimed at raising as much money as possible for the school’s Space4Science Appeal.

Numerous stalls will be awash with quality garden plants and equipment; and there will also be craft stalls, tombola, a raffle, a second-hand bookstall, and children’s play areas.

Delicious locally-sourced artisan-produced and home-made foods will be available. The BBQ will serve quality burgers
and sausages.

Colyton students will put on science, drama and art displays and play live music alongside Tae Kwon Do demonstrations and Seaton Majorettes.

Colyton Grammar School desperately needs more specialist science equipment. 88% of students are studying at least one science to A-level, and the lower four years take all three. In the past, the Festival has raised over £4 000 and this year’s profits will contribute to the £100,000 target.

“We’d be delighted to welcome as many local residents as possible, as well as the friends and families of our student community,” said Mrs Petra Bacon, the PA secretary.

By Student Reporter Megan T

Colyton Grammar School to grow seeds from space!

Students at Colyton Grammar School are preparing to become space biologists and embark on a voyage of discovery by growing seeds that have been into space.

In September 2015, 2kg of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station (ISS) on Soyuz 44S where they will spend several months in microgravity before returning to Earth in March 2016. The seeds have been sent as part of Rocket Science, an educational project launched by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and the UK Space Agency.

Colyton Grammar School will be one of up to 10,000 schools to receive a packet of 100 seeds from space, which they will grow alongside seeds that haven’t been to space and measure the differences over seven weeks. The students won’t know which seed packet contains which seeds until all results have been collected by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and analysed by professional biostatisticians.

The out-of-this-world, nationwide science experiment will enable the students to think more about how we could preserve human life on another planet in the future, what astronauts need to survive long-term missions in space and the difficulties surrounding growing fresh food in challenging climates.

Mr Lynch, STEM Co-ordinator at Colyton Grammar School, says: “We are very excited to be taking part in Rocket Science. This experiment is a fantastic way of teaching our students to think more scientifically and share their findings with the whole school community.  It is also an excellent opportunity for students across the age range to collaborate on an inspiring project which could be the motivation for them to pursue a STEM career.”

Rocket Science is just one educational project from a programme developed by the UK Space Agency to celebrate British ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s Principia Mission to the ISS and inspire young people to look into careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects, including horticulture.

Applications to take part in Rocket Science are still open and will close in March next year or until all packs have been allocated. Schools and educational groups can apply at

Follow the project on Twitter: @RHSSchools #RocketScience

Equestrian Team report

On Saturday 23 January 2016, the school’s equestrian team travelled to Bicton Arena for the NSEA inter-schools, inter-county U18 Eventers Challenge.

The team, comprising Indie H (Y8), Georgie S (Y11), Rachel H (Y11) and Hatty T (Y7), put in a great performance, producing lovely rounds which resulted in them being victorious and winning the competition as a team. Rachel H also picked up 5th place in the individual placings. This was an especially remarkable achievement for this team as they were up against tough competition from many Southwest teams such as Blundell’s, Maynard, Exeter, Stover, Wellington, Millfield and many other independent schools.

The following weekend the team was back at Bicton to compete in the NSEA Show Jumping competition. Again there were great performances from the team, which this time consisted of Bella B (Y10), Georgie S, Rachel H and Hatty T.  They achieved a great result in the 100 ( the biggest class) coming second, narrowly pipped by the Blundell’s A team.
Unfortunately these events were not qualifiers for the annual National Championships in Buckinghamshire, which this team competed at last year, however these results stand the girls in good stead for qualifiers later on in the year.  

Photo of ‘Eventers Challenge’ team by ESP-Photographic

Physics Talk (with a difference!): A Journey into the Heart of Matter

On the 19 January 2016, all Year 11-13 Physics students and violinists across the school were invited to attend a lecture on ‘Einstein’s Universe’. The talk was by Professor Brian Foster and world renowned British violinist, Jack Liebeck. The talk covered the work of Einstein and the research at the Large Hadron Collider, with an added twist that the Physics was supplemented by Jack playing some of Einstein’s favourite music on his violin.

The lecture began with an introduction to Einstein, and a brief history of his early life. Professor Foster then illustrated how Einstein came to suggest his famous theory of special relativity, beginning with just simple thought experiments. After a summary of Albert Einstein’s theories the lecture moved on to a taster of particle physics and how particle research is conducted at the Large Hadron Collider. I found it amazing to learn that particles pass around the 27km collider 11,000 times a second!

Jack Liebeck’s violin performances were a spectacle in themselves, and really gave the lecture a different angle. I think that the combination of physics and music, done in this way, really enhanced the story of Einstein’s life and the inner workings of the Large Hadron Collider. For me, I gained an increased appreciation of some of the amazing physics that goes into modelling the universe, and how well Einstein’s theories have stood the test of time.

Each part of the lecture was separated by interludes of violin music, with Jack Liebeck playing pieces written by Bach, Mozart and Kreisler. Jake L, a Year 11 student said, “I found it really interesting, especially the part about the standard model of the universe”. 
Overall I think the lecture was a brilliant and vibrant experience that appealed to all the Sixth Form years, as well as providing everyone who attended the chance to hear an amazingly talented international violinist.

By Alex (Year 11)


School prefects organise Family Fortunes-style fundraiser

Just before the end of term in December, the school held a fundraising event in the Cottrill Hall, organised by the House Prefect Teams. The school put its own twist on the well-known game show ‘Family Fortunes’ with two teams of teachers - Science vs Humanities - guessing the answers to questions related to the school that had been surveyed by students.

Over 500 students attended, with the Humanities team winning by a narrow margin.

Year 12 student Harry V came up with the idea for the event, and the two presenters were Sam J and Jonty E – who also did a lot of the organisation.

Todd O, lead fundraising prefect for Cedar House said, “The event was a great success for all involved – the organisers and those that attended - and will be a huge help to a number of very worthy causes here in the South West.”

The event managed to raise over £500 to be split between the four House charities which are: the voluntary service Freewheelers EVS, the non-profit organisation Living Options, St Petroc’s Society and Home-start, also a non-profit organisation.

By student reporter Hannah M

The winning Humanities team: Mrs Bean; Miss Westhead; Mr Harris; Mr Banks; Mrs Lester


During November & December, Year 11 student Hannah B (15) managed the school’s traditional annual collection of food items for Exeter Foodbank, with the able help of students from tutor group 10 Oak and Mrs Fitzhenry.

Having set a target of 1,000 items at the appeal launch, the school community went on to donate a total of 1,357 items of non-perishable food – only seven short of the school’s previous record. However, these items weighed in at over 630kg - over 100kg more than collected in the record year - leading Foodbank representative Pete Scott to remark: “We don’t have anyone else who gives us this amount of food in one go!”

Appeal organiser Hannah said: “It’s been an amazing effort from everyone and is going to do a whole lot of good in the local area.”

Headteacher Mrs Wainwright said: “The Foodbank appeal has become something of a tradition here at Colyton, being something that everyone – from students to teachers to support staff – can join in with enthusiastically.”

Exeter Foodbank
provides emergency food for people in crisis in the local area.

By student reporter Todd O


Geographical Association Physical Geography Photograph Competition 2015 – ‘Earth Sculpture’

Congratulations to Year 9 Geography student  Isabella S-H who entered this year’s Geographical Association photograph competition and was awarded a highly commended  with her photograph of the 'old man of Storr' on the Isle of Skye.

Winning photo and photo of Isabella with her prize above

ICAEW BASE National Business and Accounting COMPETITION

Six Year 12 students have won the regional heat of the ICAEW BASE National Business and Accounting competition at Exeter Racecourse.

Competing against thirteen other schools including Blundell’s, Plymouth College and Truro School, the team won through to the regional final, completing their presentation with one second to spare.

BASE is ICAEW’s National Business and Accounting competition for students in school or college aged 16-19, in which students engage in a business challenge that enables them to develop key employability skills and understand what it’s like to be an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.

This is the third year in a row that a Colyton team has won the regional heat.

Team member Keir L (16), said: “It was a challenging but thoroughly enjoyable event that we are incredibly pleased to have won.”

The six students must now wait until 30 June next year to compete in the national finals in Birmingham, against fifty other regional winners from across the UK.

By student reporter Todd O

Team: Daniel V, Kier L, Henry M, Charlie K, Jonny S, Todd O

Churchill National Public Speaking Competition

Two teams of Colyton students have recently attended the local final of the English Speaking Union’s ‘Churchill National Public Speaking Competition for Schools’ at Blundell’s School in Tiverton.
The teams competed against the hosts and St James School of Exeter, but narrowly missed out on progressing to the regional final.

However, Team 2 Questioner Charlie K received the award for ‘Best Questioner’.
Charlie said: “It was an interesting competition with a series of fascinating speeches.”
The ESU works principally with the young to build skills and experience aimed at helping them to realise their full potential.

By student reporter Todd O

Team members: Charlie K, Eden S, Todd O (team trainer), Harry M  Naomi E, Phoebe T-M, Tristan C

Congratulations to Y12 student for winning the Royal Geographical Society 'Young Geographer of the Year' Competition 2015

To celebrate the centenary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition, pupils nationwide were asked to respond to the question ‘Why does Antarctica matter?’

2015 marks 100 years since Shackleton’s ship, Endurance, sank beneath the ice of the Weddell Sea. Shackleton’s expedition is recognised today as an incredible feat of endurance, and is credited with increasing public fascination with Antarctica.

This year’s Young Geographer of the Year competition was an opportunity for geography pupils to explore why Antarctica matters today. Colyton Geography students from KS3, KS4 and KS5 entered the competition. With Daniel’s essay being judged the overall national winner in the 16-18 category..

Daniel received his award from Jane Rumble (Deputy Commissioner of the British Antarctic Territory), and Dr John Shears (Scott Polar Research Institute) in a ceremony at the Society’s headquarters in London on December 4th.

The day also saw the re-launch of the Discovering Antarctica website, produced jointly by the Society, the British Antarctic Survey, the British Antarctic Territory and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which includes primary, secondary and A Level resources on Antarctica.

Dr Rita Gardner CBE, Director of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), said:

“Shackleton’s amazing story of leadership and survival is part of the UK’s great Antarctic heritage and tradition of scientific endeavours. And Antarctica is still vitally important today, not least for its role in helping us understand climate change. We asked school children to consider the importance of Antarctica and have had a fantastic response. Thousands of pupils from over 300 schools submitted entries to the competition recognising the importance of the world’s last great wilderness.”

Once again congratulations to Daniel and to all students who took part. With such captivating subject matter the standard of entries was exceptionally high this year.

P Hickey
Head of Geography

PDF - Pdf attachment: Daniel’s essay


The school is pleased to receive The Prince’s Teaching Institute Mark for 2015.

The Prince’s Teaching Institute (PTI) launched the Schools Programme in 2007, to recognise and reward school departments that develop inspirational ideas and activities which enhance the teaching of Art, English, Geography, History, Latin, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Languages, Music and Science, regardless of their students’ backgrounds or abilities. It is run as a membership group for school departments that choose to commit to increasing the challenge of their subject provision.

Colyton’s Maths department received the Mark in recognition of their action research in how best to support student independence in maths, particularly with regard to summarising their ideas in a concise, mathematically correct form. This work is ongoing and this year is the final (third) year of the research process.

The PTI’s Schools Programme is open to all state secondary schools in England. To become members, school departments must demonstrate their commitment to increasing teachers’ subject knowledge, and to furthering their students’ understanding of and enthusiasm for the subject, regardless of their background or ability. To achieve the PTI Mark, departments then have to demonstrate that they have increased the challenge within their subject curriculum; developed their staff’s own specialist subject knowledge; developed subject-based links outside school and enthused their students through subject-based activities beyond the curriculum. After three years of Schools Programme membership, departments may choose to become Associate Departments by devising an advanced multi-year programme in one of these areas. As Associate Departments they will share their growing expertise with others in the Schools Programme to the benefit of all.

Headteacher Mrs Wainwright said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the PTI Mark for our Mathematics department’s innovative work, and will be proud to carry the Mark on our stationery and website as evidence of our commitment to inspirational teaching. We are also pleased to announce that the Geography department has embarked on the same programme”.

Photo: Head of Maths Mr Davis and Headteacher Mrs Wainwright with the Award Certificate


Colyton beat Sidmouth 2-1, King’s 3-1 and Exmouth 4-0 in the area final of the National Hockey competition to be crowned East Devon Champions. They went on to compete in the Devon Final on Friday 13 November at Exeter University – report to follow.

Squad: Xanthe D, Morgan S, Charlotte Y, Nicola R, Sophie B, Caitlin S, Izzy S, Evie D, Izzy B, Caitlin R, Zarina P, Hannah M.


Johnny L came 3rd in the boys race which was a great achievement. It was a very muddy course and was very flat - this did not suit Johnny who likes hills!

Team: Alex B, Tom Pc, Matthew W, Johnny L, Matthew S-Sh and Dylan H.

Colyton netball teams become County U14, U16 & U19 finalists

Colyton Grammar School’s netball teams have had a good start to their netball season by winning through to the County finals in all age groups, writes PE teacher Mrs Humphries.

The U14 & U19 teams played well against strong competition. However, it was the U16s who once again raised their game to qualify for the West Final, which takes place in Truro on Saturday 30 January 2016.

This was a fantastic achievement, especially as most of the team are U15!



During November, staff and students have been taking part in ‘Switch Off Fortnight’, a national campaign toraise awareness of wasteful energy consumption, aimed at reducing the school’s energy bills by 10% within two weeks.

On Friday 20 November the school held a ‘No Lights Day’ to raise awareness of how much energy is wasted when excess lights are left on.

Members of the school’s ‘Green Society’ have been campaigning, monitoring and reading the school’s energy meters on a regular basis to highlight energy consumption, and they also held a lunchtime ‘Energy Quiz’.

Student team:
Leo W – Monitoring tutor rooms for energy wastage
Jasper T – Meter readings and data presentation
Todd O – Assemblies and communications officer
Will N – Energy Quiz Master

Deputy Head Mr Stidwell said, “It’s vital that we all do our bit to save energy and cut down on waste. Not only will it help preserve resources, it’s economic common sense too.”


Seven sixth form students - Harry W, Izaac C, Jake L, James H, Jason W, Keir L and Tom O - were each awarded a sought-after Arkwright Engineering Scholarship recently, at a ceremony in London supported by the Institution of Engineering & Technology and the Rail Industry, led by Network Rail, Carillion and Colas Rail. They were presented with their Arkwright Scholarships by Principal Guest Naomi Climer, President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology 2015/16. They also met the five organisations that are sponsoring their scholarship over the next two years. They are: TDK-Lambda; The Reece Foundation; Engineering Construction Industry Training Board;  Association of Train Operating Companies and Cobham Plc

The Arkwright Engineering Scholarships support young people from across the UK who have the potential to be industry’s future leaders in engineering. During their sixth-form studies, Scholars receive £600 to support their technical courses and have access to a range of exciting opportunities to learn more about engineering, such as mentoring and company visits. Schools receive £400 per Scholarship awarded to their students.

Scholars are selected following a rigorous selection process comprising a detailed application form supported by a teacher’s reference, a two-hour aptitude exam and an interview hosted at a top engineering university. From a pool of 30,000 eligible students, this year teachers endorsed the applications of 1,559 students. 397 Scholarships were eventually awarded.

Dr Martin Thomas, Chief Executive of the Arkwright Scholarships Trust said: “I have been hugely impressed by the creativity, technical skills and leadership prowess of the young men and women receiving their Scholarships this year. The country needs 100,000s of new engineers to take the economy and society forward. But some of these newly-trained people need to also act as outstanding leadership beacons within industry and academia. The Arkwright Engineering Scholarships are the first step on that road to achieving such a vital position within the UK engineering profession. Congratulations to the students from Colyton Grammar School and all of our new Scholars!”


Photos show the students being presented with their certificates by a representative from their sponsoring organisation



Ollie T (14) has taken up a place on a prestigious ‘German and Sport’ residential scholarship.

Ollie wrote an application letter for the very competitively contested course and was one of only 20 students selected from across Europe.

The aim of the residential is to enjoy a one week residential in Germany, to improve German skills through extra language classes and to take part in football training with students from other European countries. It took place during October half term in ‘Campus Nordse’ in St-Peter-Ording on the North Sea coast of Germany.

Ollie said it was “a fantastic and interesting experience”.

Students from Colyton are lucky to be offered this opportunity due to the school’s partnership links with the Goethe Institut, the German equivalent of the British Council.  It is awarded by Kathrin Lauber, the PASCH co-ordinator at the Goethe Institut in London.  PASCH stands for the ‘Schools: Partners for the Future’ initiative. It is a global network of some 1,500 schools that place a high value on German.

By student reporter Grace H

Student-led production of Footloose wows audience

For many months year 13 students Issie P and Martha H (both 17), put together their production of ‘Footloose’, the stage musical based on the 1980s film. 

Martha directed the play and Issie was musical director.

The 38-strong cast consisting of students from years 11-13, was backed up with 11 backstage and technical crew members. The three-night run took place in the first week of November, playing to packed audiences in the school’s newly refurbished Cottrill Hall, with its 200-capacity raked seating.

Issie said that she “loved every minute of it” and paid tribute to the “talented, supportive and enthusiastic cast.”

Harry V and Indea H, who played the two main characters Ren and Ariel, agreed that the project had been “so much fun.”   Indea added that she felt “really lucky to have been involved.”

The school’s Headteacher Mrs Wainwright said that: “This wasn’t a school play in the traditional sense. It was done as part of the two girls’ Extended Project qualification, with much less help from staff than would be normal.  The result was superb and shows what students can achieve when encouraged to be truly independent.”

By student reporter Ellen W



A team of six students organised and led by Jonty E-H (Year 12), has won second place in the British Schools Score Championships held on Chobham Common, Surrey, on Saturday 10 October 2015.

In the competition, organised by the British Schools Orienteering Association, the teams had to find as many ‘controls’ (checkpoints in certain locations across the Common) as possible in 45 minutes. Colyton beat 14 other teams in the Upper Secondary Boys category, coming second to Torquay Boys’ Grammar School.

The members of the Colyton team were Jonty E-H, Nick C, Harry M, Paddy L, Joe W, and Will S. Edward P in Year 8 also entered as an individual, coming sixth out of 25 in his category, which is a great experience for him.

Jonty said “I’m really proud of the team, and I’d like to thank all of them for taking part in the competition.”

Nick, also in Year 12, said “It was the first time I’ve done an orienteering competition, but I really enjoyed it and we did very well.”

Alfie H, student reporter

Main photo shows the Sixth Form team with Edward P far left.

it's a family sporting affair at colyton

Three children from the same family, who all currently attend Colyton Grammar School, have had significant recent success in sport.

Billy R, in Year 12, who plays for Sidmouth and Ottery Hockey Club’s 1st men’s team, has reached the U18 Junior Regional Performance Centre Level. He is also working towards his Level 2 cricket coaching certificate, having previously captained the Devon U16s team, and played for the Devon U17s and Ottery St Mary’s 1st men’s team.

Emily R, in Year 10, also plays hockey for Sidmouth and Ottery and has reached U15 Junior Academy Level. She also plays U16 netball for Honiton and Sidmouth, and has been selected for the County Netball Academy. She has also recently achieved Grade 6 in ballet.

Following in the family tradition, Eddie R in Year 8 also plays hockey for Sidmouth and Ottery, and has reached U14 Junior Academy Level. He has also played for the Devon U13s cricket team as wicket keeper, and for Ottery St Mary U12s, U13s, and U14s, winning the batting cup in the U12s team.

Billy said, “We really enjoy our sport!”

Alfie H, student reporter


Year 8 student Rosie L joined the ‘Brave the Shave’ campaign in the summer holidays and had her hair lopped off in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Rosie reports she has now raised over £1800 and says she “hopes to raise a little more”.

Rosie, 12, donated her hair to the Little Princess Trust, an organisation which makes wigs for cancer sufferers who have lost their hair during treatment.

She says: “It is an odd way to raise money, but I did it because I knew it would make a difference”.

Colyton hockey player selected for england

Year 13 Colyton Grammar School student, Kye S, has recently succeeded in gaining a place in the Under 17s hockey team representing England in the Sainsbury’s School Games.

Kye went to Manchester in September, where she competed against players from across the country.

Kye (17) said that she feels “very pleased”, adding “it was great to compete against so many other teams from across the UK.” 

The Sainsbury’s School Games will see the England team compete against teams from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Kye has been playing hockey since she was seven years old and now trains with ISCA Hockey Club as a part of the ‘Player Pathway’, a programme designed to strengthen and develop budding talent in hockey.

Safi L, Student Reporter


Images from a student-led production of the popular musical Footloose, which was staged over three evenings in November 2015, to sell-out audiences.

Year 11 studentcompetes in men's medley race

Back in the summer, Year 11 student Charlie K competed for Exeter in the men’s (14-16)  4 x 200m freestyle relay and the men’s (14-16) 4x100m medley relay at the ASA National Swimming Finals in Sheffield.

For the freestyle, the team had been listed as first reserves, and took the 20th and final position when another team dropped out. So expectations were modest, but they swam superbly to qualify for the final and finish 9th.

In the medley relay, for which Charlie swam the backstroke leg, they were seeded 9th. After coming 6th fastest in the heats, all four swam personal bests to take silver medals in the final.

Attached is a photo of Charlie’s team with their medals: Charlie is on the far right.

'Lesser-spotted sciences day' at oxford

Three year 11 students have attended the ‘Lesser-Spotted Sciences Day’ at the University of Oxford’s Department of Computer Science.

Alex A, Jake L and Max W were able to attend some sample lectures, hear from the University Careers Service and get the opportunity to visit an Oxford college.

Alex said that the tour of the college was a “fascinating way to get an idea of university life.”  The accompanying talk gave him an insight into what it would be like to be a student. He added that overall the day was “a great introduction to some of the less well-known sciences.”

The day aims to inform school students about subjects such as Earth Sciences, Engineering, Statistics, Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences.

By Ellen W, Student Reporter

Girls' into engineering - robotics competition

A team of five 6th Form girls recently rose to the challenge of creating a video entry for the national Girls Into STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics) competition, run by the Women’s Engineering Society to explain “What is Engineering?”.

The idea of the competition is to promote engineering as a career for girls. 

The team came up with a variety of ideas, including ways in which engineering enhances people’s lives. 

The girls: Kendall F, Rachel I-J, Zoe H, Emily G and Tallie B, faced some tough opposition from across the country but were one of only twenty teams to be awarded a £1,000 grant to build a VEX EDR robot.

Once they have built the robot and explored the programming capabilities, they will enter the regional finals.

Rachel said: “The whole team pulled together fantastically to get the grant; we now have a huge but exciting challenge ahead of us”.

STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. 

By student reporter Tallie B

Long-serving member of school support staff retires

After spending almost 25 years working at the school, one of our longest-serving members of support staff has retired. At the end of October Colyford resident, Mrs Hazel Webb, left the school.

Beginning her career in February 1991, almost at the beginning of the IT revolution, Mrs Webb spent much of her time in ‘reprographics’ and word processing.

As time passed, she became head of the Resources Department in the school and the operation moved to a bespoke area adjacent to the library, away from the glorified store cupboard she once occupied!

Not only has she been a vital part of the school’s working day for staff and students requiring help with their work, she was also the main first aid post in the school, regularly dealing with nose bleeds, grazed knees, fainting incidents or broken bones.

Mrs Webb described one of her fondest memories of the school as socialising by the side of the swimming pool, previously located on the site of the Sixth Form Study Centre, during the summer months.

Keeping an ever-watchful eye over a misbehaving laminator, Mrs Webb said the best part of her job was “meeting everyone”, describing both staff and students as, “all lovely!”.

Mrs Webb now looks forward to spending more time with her grandchildren, exploring the great outdoors and getting grips with her leaving present – a lovely state-of-the-art sewing machine.

By student reporter Todd O

bronze and gold duke of edinburgh's award successes

An impressive 39 Year 11 students have been awarded Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards.
This prestigious award requires completing one task in each of three sections – Skills, Volunteering and Physical - over three months, and then extending one of the choices for a further three months. Chosen activities this time ranged from volunteering in local charity shops, to learning badminton and teaching sport skills to younger children.
Students then took part in a two-day expedition over a weekend.

Year 11 student Eleanor T said: “I enjoyed completing my Bronze DofE as it gave me an opportunity to do a range of things I would not have done otherwise, and I had fun doing the expedition with my friends!”

In addition, the school heard recently that two former students - Aimee Browning and Harriet Welch - have been awarded the prestigious Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Harriet (19) from Whitford, and Aimee (21) from Exeter, began the Award while still at school.

Ruth Bint, Head of Administration for DofE Devon, congratulated the students and thanked long-time volunteer parent organiser Meg Williams for her work with the students.

By student reporter Tallie B


One of our Year 7 students is taking part in the BBCs Junior Bake Off competition.

Eleven year old Alice B applied over the summer and, after a telephone interview,
audition and screen test, she was picked from thousands of applicants to be one
of 40 contestants on the show. 

The series began airing on Monday 2 November on CBBC, with each episode
being repeated the following morning at 7.45am on BBC2. 

Alice will appear on Monday 9 Nov at 3.50pm CBBC / Tues 10 Nov 7.45am BBC2.
Catch-up episodes may also be available on iPlayer.

This trailer features Alice’s bee cake and she briefly pops up putting some
blue gunk into a piping bag. 

Photo shows Alice practising her showstopper cake at home

Colyton students collect for KOS Refugees

Year 9 students at Colyton Grammar School have collected donations for the Kos Kindness appeal, a charity founded to help refugees on the Greek island of Kos.
The tutor group collected essential items for the refugees (most of whom are fleeing conflict in the Middle East), such as toiletries, coats, sleeping bags and trainers, from students and staff at the school.  They also ran several fundraising events including a raffle, a lucky dip, and a ‘guess the sweets in the jar’ competition, as well as selling a football shirt.  They raised over £70 in donations, as well as three full carloads of items which they helped to transport to a collection point at Exeter Community Centre.

Mrs Simpson, 9 Cedar’s form tutor, said, “Over the summer I was very moved by the plight of people travelling from Syria, and it’s been wonderful to be part of a positive response to that. I’m very grateful to everyone who donated.” 


By student reporter Alfie H


In early October, six Year 11 Design and Technology students from Colyton Grammar School were among 50 students who attended this year’s Engineering Education Scheme launch event at HMS Raleigh, Torpoint, Cornwall.

The EES provides work related learning within an industrial enterprise context. Students were given an exclusive insight into the training given to all Royal Navy staff on how to fight fires at sea. After lunch the students took part in team building activities delivered by the Royal Marines physical training staff.

The Colyton students will be going on to work with a company called AMSAFE Bridport, a world leading provider of safety restraint products for the aerospace and defence industry, to enable them to experience how a real engineering project is carried out.  Jason W, the leader of theColyton team, said he was “Looking forward to the challenge ahead”.


By student reporter, Rida M

Photo shows the Navy’s fire-fighting area at HMS Raleigh

Colyton student is local Junior Sea Cadet of the Year

At the Exmouth Sea Cadet Annual Award Ceremony in October, Rupert G was presented with a shield for being chosen as Exmouth Sea Cadets Junior Cadet of the Year 2015.

He was commended for always wearing his Sea Cadet uniform correctly, for his excellent lead in the parade ground at their recent inspection, which was the day before his 12th birthday when he became a Senior Cadet, and for always putting in good effort for every task he's presented with.

The following Saturday Rupert and two of his sisters travelled to Gosport to spend a week at sea, with Sea Cadets from other units in the country, aboard T. S. (Training Ship) John Jerwood. Each day they sailed to a different location, including the Isle of Wight.




Beanie (Colette) S, a 17 year old student from Colyton Grammar School, has recently won the ‘Christina Broom & the Suffragettes Writing Challenge’ run by the Young Poets Nehristina Broom was the first female press photographer, who captured iconic moments of the early twentieth century especially those involving women.

Beanie’s poem, ‘London’s Daughter is a Suffragette,’ can be found on the Young Poets Network website.

Her work has also featured recently as a Highly Commended entry in the Foyle Young Poet of the Year Competition, one of only 85 from an entry of 7,600.

Beanie said that her success was “very excitin

twork in association with the Museum of London.

Cg” and that she was “looking forward to entering more competitions.”

By student reporter Eden S (15)

national rowing champion

Y10 student Tallula B, has recently triumphed over her rivals in the British Rowing Championships, to become the National Champion in her age category.  Tallula, who travelled to Strathclyde in July for the competition, came first in the U-14 age category with a time of 8 minutes 36 seconds over a 1500m course.

tallulah rowing in the regatta
Tallula in training



The previous month she had triumphed in the Junior Inter-Regional Rowing Regatta in Nottingham, coming first in the women’s junior 14 event and winning gold by 40 metres.

Talulla has been rowing since she was eleven and trains with Exeter Rowing Club as a single sculler.  She said: “It was great to race against rowers from across the UK.” 

Tallula, who lives near Ottery St Mary, received a gold medal and her name will be recorded in the British Rowing Championships ‘Book of Winners’.  She will also be awarded British Rowing ranking points.  British Rowing attempts to “increase participation and create a thriving legacy for the sport”.

By student reporter, Georgia S

Pictured left: Tallula standing centre after receiving her gold medal


The Friends Groups of Seaton and Colyton libraries have been shortlisted in the Skipton Building Society's Grassroots Giving competition. The Society will give 162 community groups £500 each.

Community groups all around the country have been shortlisted. The winners are those with the highest number of public votes, so vote yourself and spread the news!

Seaton is trying to buy equipment for its youth group and Colyton wants a bench to put outside the library. Please vote!
Friends of Colyton Library
Friends of Seaton Library

The 2015 winners will be announced in November.

November Update: A big thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for The Friends of Colyton Library or The Friends of Seaton Library, on the Skipton Building Society website. Support must have been very high as both groups have successfully won £500. This would not have been possible without the support of the community!


Colyton student in International Gymnastics Event

charlotteColyton Grammar School student, Charlotte B (14), has recently triumphed in the Acrobatic Gymnastic International Cup held in Turin, Italy from 3-5 July 2015.

Charlotte, from Honiton, was awarded a gold medal along with her two teammates.

Charlotte, who trained for the competition for a year, was delighted saying she felt “really good” about her achievement. She is now busy training for further competitions this year.

Acrobatic Gymnastics (nicknamed ‘Acro’) is a competitive gymnastic discipline where partnerships of gymnasts work together and perform figures consisting of acrobatic moves, dance and tumbling, set to music.

By student reporter, Hannah W

Love Physics competition

Four CGS students have recently won first and second prizes in the #LovePhysics competition, run by The Ogden Trust’s Exeter & East Devon Partnership.

The four winning students

The competition required each pair of students to produce a two-minute video on a physics topic of their choice.
Year 11 students Keir L and Damon C won first prize and received £125 , while Year 7 students Bechan W-D and Grace S came in second, winning £75.

Damon said: “It was challenging but rewarding, allowing us to express our interest in a subject we were passionate about.”

By student reporter Todd O


The Year 9 rounders team has won both the U14 and U15 East Devon Rounders Tournaments recently. They won 13 games in total at the tournaments.

The U14 competition was a Devon Summer Games qualifier. They will now travel to Plymouth on Wednesday 24 June, and represent the area at the County event.

The under 14 rounders squad

The squad: Leah H, Emily R, Amy O, Hannah B, Anna M, Issy H-P, Sadia H, Megan T-S, Rosie L, Josie B and Holly E.

Results in the U15 Tournament:

V Exmouth Won 9-7.5
V Sidmouth Won 8.5-1
V Honiton Won 9.5-4
V Cullompton Won 10-5.5
V Uffculme Won 4.5-3.5
V King’s Won 4.5-3
V Axe Valley Won 9.5-5.5

Results in the U14 Tournament:

V King’s  Won 8.5-4
V Uffculme Won 5-1.5
V Honiton   Won 10.5-2
V Axe Valley Won 13-3
V St John’s   Won 7-3
V Exmouth Won 7.5-2.5

The girls played extremely well and demonstrated some tight fielding and some tactical batting. Leah, Anna, Holly and Megan should be congratulated for their consistent batting, scoring many full rounders between them. However, the whole team were a cohesive unit and it was their ability to work together that brought them success on the day. Well done to everyone in the squad!

School gives green advice to the USA!

Mr Stidwell was surprised recently to receive a call about the school’s Ridan Composter, from a consultant in a company in New York providing advice on green issues to universities, other public bodies and companies across America.

The Ridan Composter has been using food waste from Take 5  to produce compost, which is then used on the school gardens.

the green society with the composter
Mr Stidwell, who spoke with the consultant for about half an hour, said, “It is important to spread our knowledge about recycling and reducing food waste, so to receive a call from New York in the middle of the afternoon was a welcome surprise”.

An average school in America that is the same size as Colyton Grammar School would waste 160 gallons of food a day, according to the consultant.

A Ridan Composter is a specialist form of composter designed specifically for food waste.  The school has had one for three years.

By student reporter Luke J

students cast their votes at the library polling stationMock General Election

Student ambassadors for Politics and History organised a mock general election at school during election week.

There was a turnout of 73% among the students, who could vote throughout the day in the polling station in the school library.

Year 11 student Todd O, who stood as a candidate, said, “It provided a great opportunity for those looking to be engaged in politics.”

Organisers were surprised to find that the turnout was higher than that of the real election.

By student reporter Luke J

susannahGold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Susannah F, a Year 13 student at Colyton Grammar School, has been awarded the Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award after completing all five sections of the programme.

For Susannah, the award involved developing her photography skills, volunteering at Elmwood Care Home in Colyford, attending Zumba classes and doing a five-day residential, which she spent working on a farm.

She also went on a four-day expedition across Dartmoor in September 2014, two years after she began working towards the award.

Although there were times when the challenges were substantial, Susannah was certainly “very pleased” to have completed the programme.

By student reporter Alfie H

Barclays Premier League trophy Visit

The Barclays Premier League trophy visited Colyton Grammar School at the end of April, as part of the Barclays Spirit of the Game initiative.

During the visit, students were invited to the main school hall to have their photo taken in small groups with the trophy.
Event organisers said that the three-week photo tour was designed to “champion the next-generation of fans,” by visiting two schools every day. The school won the visit through an online competition entered by a parent of one of the students.

By student reporter Todd O

Young Geographer Photography Competition

This year the School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Science (GEES) at the University of Birmingham ran the first ‘Young Geographer Photography Competition’, open to all young people studying a GCSE, A-level or equivalent Geography course. The judging panel were highly impressed with the entries and the multiple interpretations of the theme ‘Changing Geographies in my local area.'

Second prize was awarded to Georgia S in Year 11, for her photograph ‘Sunset or sunrise,’ symbolic of the challenges facing coastal towns. All winners were congratulated for thinking geographically about their local area.


The primary tennis participantsYear 3 and 4 pupils from Colyton, Kilmington, Seaton, Shute and  St Mary’s Primary Schools took part in the Axe Valley Mini Tennis league held at Colyton Grammar School recently.

The Grammar School’s student Sports Leaders introduced the pupils to a range of mini tennis activities, including ‘Get out of Jail’, ‘Champions’ and ‘Tennis Rounders’, before supporting the pupils with their competitive doubles games.

St Mary’s were the overall winners with Colyton a very close second. Both schools will represent the Axe Valley at the East Devon Finals which will be held at the Exmouth Indoor Tennis Centre.

Primary School ‘Quadkids’ competition

Quadkids Primary is a team-based quadrathlon competition, where individual performances are scored using a points table and the winners are the team with the highest cumulative points.

Teams are made up of four girls and four boys and each athlete competes in four events: 75m Sprint, Vortex Howler Throw, 600m run and the Standing Long Jump.

At the end of April, All Saints, Beer, Kilmington, Seaton and St Mary’s Primary Schools competed at the school. The competition was run by Year 12 Sports Leaders who coached the children and officiated at each event before calculating final results and awarding certificates.

Kilmington were the overall winners, with All Saints a close second. These two schools will represent the Axe Valley in the East Devon round on Tuesday 2nd June.

Jonty participating in the orienteering championshipColyton student takes part in International Festival of Orienteering

Jonty E-H in Year 11 has taken part in the Jan Kjellström International Festival of Orienteering in the Lake District.

The festival included two long races, in which Jonty came 23rd out of 60, and a sprint in which he came 21st out of 59. He also represented Devon in a relay race, coming 7th in his leg.

The 3,000 runners included the international elite preparing for the World Orienteering Championships in Scotland this summer.

Recently, Jonty competed in the British Orienteering Championships, coming 9th in his age category.

Jonty said that the festival was: “A really valuable and enjoyable experience.”  “I'd really encourage people to try the sport,” he added.

Jonty also arranged an orienteering event at Escot Park recently. For more information about other upcoming orienteering events and news in Devon, visit


Congratulations to our 2015 Ten Tors  teams, who successfully completed the challenge last weekend.

With strong winds and heavy rain, four teams set out at 07:00 on Saturday 9 May, to walk 35, 45 or 55 miles across Dartmoor in two days, along with some 2,000 others. 

In an experiment, the 35 mile team contained some younger (Year 9) students for the first time and they stormed round, arriving back at Okehampton Camp at just after 11am on Sunday morning. 

In a spectacular display of fitness and team spirit, the first of the two 45 mile teams arrived back eight minutes before the 35 milers, despite having done an additional 10 miles.  They were only narrowly beaten, being one of the first teams on their route.

ten tors 55 mile team
The 55 mile team

No doubt as a consequence of the good reputation Colyton has in the competition, we were allowed to have an additional 45 mile team, which enabled an additional six students to take part. They again exceeded expectations, arriving back with 2.5 hours to spare and fully justifying their selection. 

The 55 mile team achieved the unbelievable feat of walking over 35 miles in one day, continuing to walk for 14 hours until it was nearly dark. They arrived back at the quite staggering time of 13:51, less than three hours after the 35s. Some of the team even had the energy to jump around at the end to celebrate!

Congratulations to them all on a stupendous result all round.

Ten Tors is a challenge for 14-18 year olds from schools and youth organisations. Teams of six have to walk 35, 45 or 55 miles across Dartmoor, visiting ten tors on the way. Leaving at 7am on Saturday, they have to be completely self-sufficient, camp overnight on the moor and return to Okehampton Camp by 5pm on Sunday.  Colyton Grammar School has a proud history of involvement in the event and this year entered four teams. 


The Senior Choir gave their annual concert at Exeter Cathedral on Saturday 21 March, performing a selection of music by composer Will Todd, including his hugely popular Mass in Blue.  Will’s music encompasses a wide range of musical styles and genres - from jazz to contemporary liturgical music.  His work, The Call of Wisdom, was commissioned by St Paul's Cathedral and featured in the Diamond Jubilee thanksgiving service.

Listen to 'Lighting the Way'

The school concert was a great occasion enhanced by having the composer himself playing the piano, with Joanna Forbes L’Estrange singing the Soprano solo. Joanna is one of London’s top studio session singers, regularly working at the famous Abbey Road Studios. She is a former Musical Director of The Swingle Singers, works as a singing coach and has been a guest conductor for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain.

Joanna Forbes LestrangePerforming to an audience of over 500 people, the choir sang traditional choral music including the reflective ‘The Rose’ and starting with Year 13 students singing the magical ‘My Lord has come’ unaccompanied.  The first half ended with a gentle and effective jazz arrangement of ‘Amazing Grace’ and an upbeat foot-tapping arrangement of ‘When the saints go marching in’. This was followed by Mass in Blue, which places a traditional Mass in a jazz setting, producing a stunning sound. It combines excellent choral writing with great jazz grooves, superb music for the accompanying band and terrific moments for the Soprano soloist - the Cathedral was filled with sound!

Mr House, Director of Music said, “It was very exciting to perform in such a wonderful building with 140 enthusiastic students who rose to match the standard of the fantastic professionals”.

Year 13 students Harvey M and Beth H described it as “amazing to be part of something so special”. This is now the second time that the school has performed this piece and the Senior Choir will be performing parts of it again, along with other music by Will Todd, in their summer tour to Nuremberg this July.

By student reporter Alex F

Flute group visit

On Monday 23 March, the Flute Group, led by Elle C in Year 12, performed another short concert for the residents at Elmwood Residential Care Home in Colyford. 

The flute group

This group is run entirely by students who choose and rehearse the music and organise the parts and players.  Students from Years 7 to 10 performed  with Elle.  The residents enjoyed listening to the students and singing along with ‘My Favourite Things’, ‘Edelweiss’ and Offenbach’s ‘Can-Can’.

New Cottrill Hall Opens

The school’s new Cottrill Hall has opened after over seven months of refurbishment, and has already been used for a Higher Education evening, The Big Colyton Art Show and a Comic Relief lunchtime stand-up comedy event.

With 240 roll-out seats, a servery for public events, a spacious lighting gallery and a foyer, the new building is a much improved venue.

The new interior, with raked seating

The project, which also included the construction of new changing rooms in the Sports Hall, cost approximately £2.6m, with £1.24m coming from an Academies Maintenance Fund grant.

Paul Evans, Headteacher, commented, “Since I have been Head, it has been my ambition to sort out the school hall and I’m delighted with how it’s turned out!”

He added: “It is a great asset to the school, and the improved lighting, acoustics and air conditioning will be excellent for putting on productions and many more school events.”

By Student Reporter, Zoe K

Goethe Institut Sixth Form Scholarships Awarded

We would like to congratulate Fi J and Hannah D, two Year 12 German language students who have recently been awarded scholarships from the Goethe Institut. The scholarships are worth about 3.500 € each and are designed to enable them to study in Germany for three weeks this summer with other students from around the world!

Colyton qualifies for these scholarships because of our PASCH links. The scholarship covers flights, lessons, accommodation, meals, a varied and action packed leisure programme and even 75€ pocket money!

This year the course, which is conducted in German, will be held in the city of Schwäbisch Hall, in Baden-Württemberg, not far from Stuttgart in South Germany.

Fi and Hannah have both shown real commitment to their AS studies and we are sure they will make the most of this fantastic opportunity! We would like to thank all the students who put themselves forward for this award and also Mr Smith and Mr Gregson, who organised the interviews and made the selection this year.

Student receives Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award from Prince Edward

Y13 Student Flo W, recently attended St James’ Palace in London to be presented with her Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award by Prince Edward.

Flo received a brooch and a certificate to mark her achievement, which took 18 months to complete.

As part of the process Flo enrolled as an Air Cadet, played for Chard Ladies Hockey 1st team and passed her Grade 8 Flute exam.

The expedition, which is the final part of the qualification, took place in the Brecon Beacons.

Flo described the experience as, “Hard work, requiring a lot of determination but it was also very enjoyable”.

By student reporter Alex F

alice bY13 student achieves Gold Duke of edinburgh's Award

Year 13 student Alice B, has recently been awarded the prestigious ‘Gold’ Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, following completion of all five sections of the programme.

Alice said the social aspect of the award was the most enjoyable part, having completed her volunteering section with a local children’s orchestra.

She described the overall ‘D of E experience’ as “thoroughly enjoyable.”

As part of the award, Alice completed activities such as organ-playing and a four-day expedition.

Alice will receive her award at a special presentation at St James’s Palace, London

By student reporter Todd O

Biology Olympiad Success

Colyton Grammar School students have had great success in Round One of the British Biology Olympiad, which “challenges and stimulates students with an interest in Biology to expand and extend their talents.”

An outstanding set of results was achieved this year, with six students awarded a Gold, 12 awarded a Silver, and seven achieving a Bronze award.

Students who achieve a Gold award are in the top 7% of biologists nationally.

One student, Manal Patel, succeeded in advancing to the next round, which selects students to take part in the International Biology Olympiad.

2015 has been “undoubtedly the best year of results”, said Head of Biology, Mr Smith.

By student reporter Yasmin R-L

Students and Staff Create Recycled Art to win Peruvian Rainforest

Colyton Grammar School’s Green Society has recently been organising a competition open to all students and staff to design a piece of art made entirely of recycled materials, with the aim of protecting a small part of Peruvian rainforest.

Once all entries have been submitted, there will be an exhibition of work in the school’s library from which judges will select a winner whose name will be used to ‘endow’ half an acre of Peruvian rainforest which the Green Society purchased at the start of this term from the charity Cool Earth, which works alongside indigenous villages to halt rainforest destruction.

In addition, they and two runners-up will have the chance to exhibit their work in ‘The Big Colyton Art Show’ taking place in school on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd of March.  The competition is a chance for students not only to explore the idea of recycling, but to have their artwork displayed amongst pieces by professional artists in a large public exhibition.

“Colyton’s Green Society exists to raise awareness within our school community, of the need to re-use materials and to live more sustainably,” said Rex Stidwell, Assistant Headteacher at the school.

By student reporter Anna H


The eventing teamA team of four students came fourth in an Arena Eventing Competition at King’s Sedgemoor Equestrian Centre on Friday 20 February, beating 13 other entries from across Devon and Somerset.

This is the second event for the school team, whose members are Bella B and Misha T from Year 9, Thomas F from Year 8 and Year 7 student Indie H.

Misha said: “We were pleased that we did so well.”

The competition involved jumps of up to 85 centimetres, consisting of eight show jumps and nine cross-country jumps.

By student reporter Alfie H

students outperform stock market in investment competition

A team of four students has outperformed the FTSE 100 share index and secured its place in the semi-finals of a national investment competition.

In doing so, the Colyton Exchangers team beat not only the professionals, but also more than 30,000 other students across the UK in the ifs Student Investor Challenge.

The team of semi-finalistsStudents Daniel V, Eric B, Sam Z and Sebastian H made more than £20,000 dealing in virtual shares in just three short months of trading and will now represent the school at the semi-final, to be held in March.

If successful at the semi-final stage, they will have the chance of making it through to the national final in April, when an all expenses paid educational trip to New York and £2,000 for the school is up for grabs.

The free to enter competition, run by ifs University College and supported by Bloomberg, provides teams with £100,000 of virtual money to buy and sell shares in FTSE 100 companies. The competition gives teams of four students aged between 14 to 19 years old the opportunity to experience the dynamic world of share dealing and investing in the stock market. Now in its 20th year, the competition is the largest of its kind in the UK and is also open to international students.

Alison Pask, Vice Principal at ifs University College said: “This competition gives students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of making investment decisions, which will benefit them throughout their lives when making financial choices. It also introduces them to core concepts such as risk, reward and diversification. This is a real achievement and many congratulations go to the team from Colyton Grammar School.”


The PE Department is collecting the Sainsbury’s Active Kids vouchers – the collection box is in the school library.

Active Kids vouchers can be collected from 28 January until 5 May 2015 at all Sainsbury’s stores, petrol stations and when ordering groceries online.

So, if you shop in Sainsbury’s we would be very grateful to receive your vouchers.  Thank you.

Devon Schools’ Cross Country Championships Success

Over twenty students from Colyton Grammar School competed in the Devon Schools’ Cross Country Championships at Stover School in January.

The students were selected from local heats across the County, and some races had up to 45 runners.

Of those taking part, six finished in the top ten, therefore qualifying to compete for Devon at the South West Championships in Chippenham in February.

These include two podium placed runners, Eliot M, who finished first in the Junior Boys, and Johnny L who finished third in the Minor Boys category.

Miss Shute, Head of PE, commented, “It was quite a fast and flat course, making it favourable to more sprint based runners.”

She added, “Well done to everyone who competed, and good luck to those going on to the South West Championships!”

Qualifying runners were:

Isabelle S - 9th in Minor Girls
Issie B - 6th in Junior Girls
Zoe K - 6th in Senior Girls
Johnny L - 3rd in Minor Boys
Elliot M - 1st in Junior Boys
Patrick L - 5th in Senior Boys

By Student Reporter Zoe K

Young Pianists Competition

The winner of the competition, Jospeh DYear 8 student, Joseph D, has come joint second in Seaton Music’s Young Pianists Competition, in an evening performance at the Gateway in Seaton in January.

The competition, open to players between 12-18 years old, came down to six finalists who each performed a fifteen minute recital to a panel of adjudicators.

Instead of awarding a prize for 1st place, the adjudicators chose to award both Joseph and another entrant joint 2nd place.

Joseph played several pieces, including a ‘rag’ by his piano teacher Mr Nicholas Brown.

Joseph described the experience as “daunting”, but added that “some of the best things are!”

By student reporter Alex F

Y9 student in Torbay Chess Congress

Year 9 student, Edmund K, has won a prestigious trophy and come second in the Torbay Chess Congress.

Edmund was awarded the John Whitfield Cup for being the best-scoring junior competitor across all four sections of the tournament, with a total of four out of a possible five points.

Edmund highlighted how he had “needed to persevere” after a challenging opening to the tournament, but concluded that “it was an intense and thoroughly enjoyable.”

Started in 1965, this was the Congress’s  48th  tournament, and was held at the Raleigh Hotel in Dartmouth.

By student reporter, Todd O

Leavers Award Ceremony

Just before Christmas, last year’s leavers returned for a prize-giving held at Seaton Town Hall.

The evening was the last time the whole year group will come together, and was a chance for the former students to round off their experiences at the school.

Headteacher, Mr Evans commented, “It was a very happy evening and a great way to celebrate all of the year group’s achievements.”

He added, “It is exciting to see how all of the students are getting on in their first terms at university, and all their other endeavours this year.”

By Student Reporter, Zoe K

National Performance Tables

Publication of Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 National Performance data today shows Colyton Grammar School students continue to achieve excellent results. The tables rank all state and independent schools in England on a range of measures.

At Key Stage 4, the school is ranked 4th nationally on the key measure, with a total average (capped) point score of 450.6 per pupil. (Colyton was top for ‘total average points per pupil’ with 703.9) At Key Stage 5, the school has moved up to 2nd nationally with an average point score per ‘A’ level student of 1332.0.

Head teacher, Paul Evans, who steps down from his post at the end of the year says, “I am delighted that the school has retained its position amongst the most academically successful schools in the country.”

Colyton Grammar School has a unique curriculum where students complete their GCSE’s a year early. This enables students to enjoy a broad three year sixth form programme, ensuring that they do far more than just pass examinations. Colyton students compete successfully to secure places in sought after universities and on challenging courses.

Mr Evans said, “It is a privilege to see our students succeed academically while also developing as young adults ready for the challenges of university and the world of work. In an increasingly difficult financial climate, I am pleased that we are sustaining the breadth and high levels of student academic achievement.”

The Big Colyton Art Show

The school will be hosting an art show on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd March, organised by the Parents’ Association, in order to raise funds for additional science facilities. This will be the first major event to be held in the newly refurbished Cottrill Hall.

The show will feature more than 50 outstanding artists with national and international reputations, such as Anthony Frost and Cathy King.  The art show will also feature the patron, south Devon-based Charlie O’Sullivan, whose paintings are sought after across the world.  She was discovered by the distinguished artist, Michael Morgan, in 2009. Since then she has established herself as possibly the most significant artist to emerge from the South West in recent years.

Work by the school’s excellent Art Department will also be on display, and there will be an opportunity to purchase imaginative and innovative artwork from GCSE and A-level students. 

Admission is free for children and £2 for adults, with a children’s trail on the Saturday and a raffle on the Sunday.

The event is being sponsored by several local businesses, including the Marine House at Beer.  For full information, including opening times, the show’s dedicated web page can be found here.

Prospective buyers will be able to view the online catalogue and start purchasing in advance of the show – keep an eye on the website for the live catalogue launch.

By student reporter Yasmin R

CGS students collect food for Exeter Foodbank

Just before Christmas, students in Oak House at Colyton Grammar School organised a collection of food for the Exeter Foodbank.

The annual school appeal, this time organised by Todd O in Year 11, is in its eighth year and this time a total of 1,344 items were donated – well over the 1,000 item target which the students had set themselves.

Foodbank representative, Pete Scott, who came into school to collect the donation at the end of December, said, “This donation equates to the amount which is given away each week by the Foodbank – nearly a fiftieth of what we’ll give out this year.  We would once again like to thank the Colyton community for their help.”

The Exeter Foodbank is an organisation that provides three days’ of emergency food supplies to those in crisis who cannot afford to put food on the table.

By student reporter, Todd O


Year 13 student, Susannah Felstead, has written and illustrated a children’s book as part of her AQA Baccalaureate Extended Project.

The Flying Colours tells the tale of a grey world where colour is illegal. A ‘swarm of colour’ is set free and goes about recoloring the planet, chased by the colour police.

The writer said, “It was very time consuming, but I really enjoyed it.”

“It gave me very useful experience for what I would like to do in the future,” she added.

The book can be found by clicking here (give it time to download!)

By student reporter Yasmin R

Former Colyton student wins Oxford 'Blue'

Former student, 20 year-old Adam Speake (pictured, far right), has recently been awarded an ‘Oxford Blue’ as an outstanding performer for the Oxford University Cross Country Club.

Adam, who is from Seaton, is the first ex-Colyton student to receive the coveted ‘Blue’ in cross-country, gained for performances against Cambridge University.

In the recent inter-varsity match, Adam came 5th overall and 3rd runner home for Oxford, who won the Gentleman's Blues Varsity Match for the first time in 4 years - 35 points to 46 (lowest points total wins). 

Adam, a student at Worcester College and Men’s Vice Captain at the Oxford Club, is entitled to wear the special dark blue blazer as a result of the award.

By student reporter Gemma S


Colyton students recently performed their version of the musical Guys and Dolls at The Gateway, Seaton Town Hall.

The show, which ran over three nights in early December, was directed and stage-managed by Head of Drama, Mrs Brownley, together with Year 13 students Freya B and Sasha C, as part of their AQA Baccalaureate ‘Extended Project’.
Mr House, Director of Music at Colyton, co-ordinated the music and the band.

Students from many year groups were involved in the production, which has music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and is based in turn on the writings of Damon Runyon, reflecting a New York of gamblers, small time crooks and habitués of Broadway and Brooklyn.

The musical premiered on Broadway in 1950, and has won the Tony Award for Best Musical, as well as being adapted into a well-known film with Marlon Brando in 1955.

After sell-outs on all three nights, Mrs Brownley commented, “Being part of Guys and Dolls was a fabulous experience and I hope that everyone involved, and everyone who came to see it, enjoyed it as much as I did.”

Headteacher Mr Evans said, “This was a brilliant achievement and I very much hope that working closely with Seaton Gateway will become a regular event for us.”

By student reporter Alex F

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Students' success in first round of public speaking competition

Two teams of students have been successful in the local round of The English Speaking Union’s Churchill National Public Speaking Competition for Schools, held at St Luke’s Science and Sports College in Exeter.

The competition is open to teams of three students in Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11) and each team member takes one of three roles – chairperson, speaker or questioner. Students who participate in the competition develop their knowledge of topical issues, while enhancing their speech writing skills, their speaking and presentation skills and their ability to think analytically on their feet. The competition also helps to develop confidence in its participants.

The two Colyton teams  went through to the area round as winner and runner-up. Harry M, from Year 10, earned the award for best participant in the competition in the role of questioner. Eden S, speaker from the winning team, said, “It was a highly enjoyable evening with a series of passionate speeches which were inspirational for all attending.”

The ESU works principally with young people, providing opportunities to build skills and gain experiences to help them realise their full potential.

The regional finals of the competition will take place between February and March, and the UK final will take place in April.

By student reporter, Todd O

Young Geographer of the Year

Year 11 student Victoria S (pictured, far left) has recently won the prestigious Young Geographer of the Year Competition in the 14-16 years (Key Stage 4) category, from a national entry of over 700 hundred entrants.

The competition, run by the Royal Geographical Society posed the question: ‘How can Geography help me?’.  Students were asked to present their responses in the form of an A3 poster.

Victoria (15), who entered the competition as a homework assignment, focused her answer on how Geography could help her with understanding current affairs, poverty and both physical and human elements of her local environment.
Victoria collected her award on 28 November at the Royal Geographical Society Headquarters in Kensington.  The competition will be featured in the January edition of the ‘Geographical’ magazine.

Commenting on the win, Victoria said, “I’m thrilled to have won because I really didn’t expect to and I was so excited to go up to London.”

Steve Brace, Head of Education at the Royal Geographical Society said, “The Society congratulates Victoria on her deserved award. We were delighted with the quality of entries this year, and were particularly impressed to see our young geographers demonstrating the relevance of geography to many aspects of their lives, be it at the local or global scale.”

By Student Reporter, Zoe K

Students compete in Bar Mock Trial Competition

A group of Sixth Form students travelled to Bournemouth in November to compete in the regional finals of the Bar National Mock Trial Competition.

The team outside the courtThe team was made up of 16 students from Years 11 to 13, who competed against eight other schools from across the South West.

Students took on the roles of barristers, witnesses and court room staff to present their cases against other teams in real courtrooms, in front of real judges.

Additionally, two students, Emily D and Yasmin R, entered the Court Reporter and Court Artist competitions.

Although unsuccessful on this occasion, Assistant Headteacher Mr Gregson, commented, “Team members produced a really strong performance on the day and were a real credit to the school.”

“They have all shown great commitment throughout the term, attending lunchtime and after school meetings and a number are considering legal careers as a result”, he added.

By Student Reporter, Zoe K

Hardcopy or #Hashtag? Young People’s vision for a Digital Parliament

Nick S, a Year 12 A-Level Politics student, has competed at a Political Studies Association (PSA) event at Portcullis House, in Whitehall.

The event was staged for the annual ‘Parliament Week, which aims to address young people’s disengagement with politics through digital means.

Nick was contending with 14 other school ‘teams’ nationally.  Representatives had 20 minutes to visit other students’ work, as well as explain theirs ahead of their main presentation. Nick won the first round with his presentation outlining how Twitter could be used to improve public engagement with Prime Minister’s Question Time. 

There was then a ‘final’ which Nick narrowly lost, but he still finished an impressive second place nationally.

Head of Politics, Mr Harris said, “Nick produced a marvellous contribution, showing that young people can be fully engaged in political debate.”

“He was a credit to the school,” he added.

By student reporter Ben L

A Y12 sports leader works with some childrenAxe Valley Primary Schools' Gym Festival

The school hosted a Gymnastics festival last month for approximately 200 Year 3 and Year 4 children from the surrounding Axe Valley area.

Mrs Harris, who organised the event as part of her role as Axe Valley Schools’ Sports Co-ordinator, ran four festivals across a two day period with the help of a team of 24 student sports leaders.

The aim of the festival was to assist the children in “acquiring and developing a skill” in jumping, balancing, rolling, travelling with weight on hands and partner work, and also to give the accompanying members of staff ideas about teaching gymnastics back at school.

The schools are expected to return to Colyton in February, to take part in a gym celebration, when the children will be given the opportunity to showcase the skills they have been working on.

Mrs Harris said she was very pleased with what was “a very successful event” and thanked the Colyton Sports Leaders for their “hard work and dedication”.

By student reporter Gemma S

Brother & sister gymnasts

Brother and sister Charlotte B (Year 9) and Matthew B (Year 7), have recently competed in the British Gymnastics championships in Stoke on Trent.

Charlotte competed with two other gymnasts as a trio, finishing in an impressive 5th place, and Matthew achieved bronze as part of a men’s pair.

The pair have already competed in two other similar competitions and are looking forward to a fourth next March.
Charlotte was very pleased with the result, adding that she was glad the “training paid off.”

Charlotte and Matthew, both at the top of their respective pictures


The school has recently launched a new section to its website, to commemorate the special World War One centenary event held at the school on July 1st this year.

The website collects together the work that the students produced on the day, and is designed as a commemorative and informative community resource from which everyone can benefit, including some local history about ‘sailors from Beer’ and old boys from the school who served in the war.

The school’s media specialist, Mr Moran, designed and created the web pages from scratch and has included photos, videos and interactive content to showcase the day’s events, for which teachers and support staff offered a huge menu of activities for the whole school to choose from.

The project came about after Mrs Harvey, who is Head of Student Personal Learning, successfully bid for a £3,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

To see all of the activities that students and staff were involved in, you can access the ‘First World War Centenary Commemorations’ website via this link

By student reporter, Yazmin R

German Sports Scholarship Opportunity

A football tournament on the last dayOver the October half-term holiday, Year 12 student Tom H, and Caroline W in Year 10, had the amazing opportunity of travelling to Frankfurt for a week-long German sports residential, fully funded by the Goethe Institut.

They stayed at a Sporthotel with other students from all over Europe, including the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Finland – 20 participants in total, who were all aged between 14 and 17.  The scholarships included travel, flights, hotel accommodation, food, activities and sports training.

In the mornings students had intensive teaching for their German language; in the afternoon they did football training with trips and activities organised for the evening. 

The highlights for Tom included the “great atmosphere” at the German Cup game, as well as “meeting so many people from other cultures and improving my German.”

PASCH Co-ordinator at the school, Mrs Dell, commented, “We are very proud of Tom and Caroline for taking up this exciting opportunity!”

By Student Reporter Zoe K

Brian Patten talks to the studentsWell-known poet visits schooL

Nationally-renowned poet Brian Patten has recently visited Colyton Grammar School as part of the prize won by Year 8 student Noah B for his second-placed entry in the prestigious John Betjeman Poetry Competition (see earlier article).

The poet, who first came to prominence in the 1960s with the Penguin Anthology The Mersey Sound alongside Roger McGough, gave a reading of some of his best known poems.

Highlights included ‘Dear Mum’ on the adventures of a young child while their mother is out; ‘Hair Today, No Her Tomorrow’ on relationships; ‘Blake’s Purest Daughter’, a tribute to the English poet Stevie Smith and ‘The Armada’, a poem about bereavement, studied by GCSE students in schools.

Answering questions from the audience, Brian Patten described poetry as having “crept up” on him and that the purpose of poetry was the “expression of feelings.”

Brian Patten is the author of many books for adults and children, and is a recipient of the Cholmondeley Award for services to poetry.

By student reporter Todd O

C’est Magnifique!

French Ambassadors Gemma S and Rebecca H have recently held a French-themed cookery competition.

Students were divided into houses and required to cook crêpes during their lunchtime.

Year 7 students produced a vast variety of crêpes.

Judging was done enthusiastically by teachers from the Modern Foreign Languages department, who chose Cedar House as the winners.

All those who participated received a certificate for their efforts.

French Ambassador Gemma S said: “Everyone who took part seemed to really enjoy themselves and I was surprised by the high quality of the entries”.

By student reporter Ben L


A group of student musicians visited Elmwood residential home in Colyford on 15 October, to perform the first lunchtime concert of this term for the residents.

Liam H and Rowan H, who are both A-level music students, performed solos on the piano and Suki H and Sylvie H performed three songs composed by Suki.

Music teacher Mrs Lester said: “The residents really enjoyed it. It was also lovely to hear the girls singing in harmony”.

There are two more trips to Elmwood planned for this term, including the A Cappella group providing a sing-along Christmas themed session.

By student reporter Alex F


The school has retained its Eco-Schools Green Flag for a further two years, following an assessment last week.

We have a long track record of working on environmental issues since the first Green Flag was awarded in July 2010. The award, issued by Eco-Schools, is important recognition of the hard work of the students and staff to cut energy use and waste.  The assessor was impressed with both the approach to energy production and energy efficiency in the buildings and grounds, and the series of campaigns run by the students to reduce and recycle waste, and to be more energy efficient.

In the last two years the school’s recycling rate has risen to 67%, which exceeds the Devon County Council rate of 55%!

All food waste is now composted and is recycled back into the flower beds in the school grounds. Other unglamorous and invisible improvements include loft and cavity wall insulation and high-tech heating controls and light bulbs, which have reduced energy use by 10-15%. 

Head of Green Society, Mr Stidwell, says that: “Educating students about sustainability issues and our impact on the environment is fundamental in creating responsible individuals who will live in a far more energy insecure world in the future. Over the past two years we have worked to integrate subtle environmentally friendly changes into school life, establishing habits that we hope students will take home and retain after leaving school”.

He added, “The award of this third green flag has involved all members of the school community - students, teachers, and site staff - in gaining a prestigious international award which we are very proud to hold.”

Photo: Groundsmen Mr Postin and Mr Clarke (rear left), and Mr Stidwell (far right) are pictured holding the Eco-Schools Green Flag, with members of the school’s Green Society


Mark Agnew, Chair of the Parents’ Association, presented the school with a new minibus earlier this month.

Headteacher Mr Evans said, “We are very grateful to the Parents’ Association for their ongoing support and commitment to the school.  Many students will benefit from this new bus and we appreciate all of the efforts made to fundraise on behalf of our students. Thank you.”

Photo: Mr Evans and Senior Prefects Ellen F and Harvey M are pictured receiving the keys to the new minibus from Mark Agnew, on behalf of the PA


Former student Daniel Knapp (19) from Seaton, who left Colyton Grammar School in the summer, has recently achieved the prestigious ‘Gold’ Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

The Gold Award requires students to complete and provide evidence for an ‘extended’commitment to volunteering, a skill and a sport, and also to take part in an expedition and a residential.

Daniel volunteered with the Scouts at Seaton Cub Scout pack, attended hockey club at school and, in order to complete his skill section, aimed to improve his marksmanship (air rifle and air pistol shooting).  He also visited Snowdonia with the National Trust, on a working holiday with a group of people he had never met before.

Finally Daniel travelled to Dartmoor where, alongside other Colyton students, he succeeded in completing the four-day expedition.

Daniel said that the award was “a challenge” but he “had fun achieving Bronze, Silver and Gold and enjoyed meeting new people along the way.”

His DofE supervisor at the school was Meg Williams, who said “Daniel has been superb; this is a fantastic achievement.”

Daniel will receive his Gold Award during a special presentation at St James’s Palace, London

By student reporter, Gemma S

Noah second place in John Betjeman poetry competition

noah and the other successful entrants at St Pancras Station

Year 8 student Noah B (12) has won second place in a field of 2,200 entries, in the prestigious John Betjeman poetry competition.

The competition, established by the family of the former Poet Laureate, is open to students aged 10-13 and this year was on the theme of ‘place’.

Noah read his poem beside the John Betjeman statue at St Pancras station on National Poetry Day (2 Oct), in front of the other successful entrants, as well as several honoured guests.

These included the founder of Gifford’s Circus, Nell Gifford; actors Edward Fox and Joanna David; and the chair of the Betjeman Society, Edward Wild.

Noah won £150 and four Eurostar tickets, which he intends to use to travel to Paris with his family over the Easter break.

Noah’s prize also includes a visit to Colyton by renowned poet Brian Patten, author of ‘The Mersey Sound’ and children’s book ‘Gargling with Jelly’, who will run a workshop later in the year.

By Student Reporter, Zoe K

You can read Noah’s poem, ‘A Lighthouse’ on the competition website

Photo Credit: Sam Lane - taken at St Pancras Station

Year 12 Sports Leaders deliver primary schools' sports festival

A Y12 sports leader supervising some key stage 1 participants

In October, the school hosted a ‘multi-skills’ sports festival for Key Stage 1 pupils from primary schools in the surrounding Axe Valley community.

Nine schools, and 220 children aged from four to seven, took part in a day-long variety of activities aimed at developing key sporting skills.

Year 12 Sports Leaders ran the day, through twelve disciplines all designed to improve agility, balance or co-ordination and to support the PE lessons the children have back in their own schools.

PE teacher at Colyton, Mrs Harris, who organised the event in her role as Axe Valley Schools’ Sports Co-ordinator, was “thrilled that so many children and members of staff were able to attend. The energy and enthusiasm of the Sports Leaders ensured it was a very successful event,” she added.

By student reporter, Gemma S


Joseph G

17-year-old Joseph G, who is in his final year at Colyton, has been selected to sing with the ‘National Youth Choir of Great Britain’ at the Royal Festival Hall, on London’s historic South Bank, as part of the Festival of Remembrance.

Joseph, who has worked with the choir in several performances, will be taking part in Benjamin Britten's War Requiem to be conducted by Marin Alsop.

When auditioning at the Royal Albert Hall, he chose a piece that “tested my sight-reading and musicianship skills, as well as demonstrating my vocal range”.

He attributes his success to Mr House, Director of Music at Colyton, and regular singing and touring with the school’s Senior Choir.

Joseph stated his audition was one of those “spine-tingling moments” and that he felt “very lucky to be part of the performance”, which takes place on Sunday 9 November.

By student reporter Ben L


Last year was a successful one for the 150 students taking termlyAssociated Board of Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) music exams, 35 of whom gained the highest Grades 6, 7 and 8.

Over half of these students gained a Merit or Distinction, with four achieving this in more than one instrument.

The Qualifications and Credit Framework [QCF] consider these higher grades equal to A-levels, and they attract UCAS points for students applying to university.

Mr House, Director of Music said, “We would like to offer our congratulations to all students who took music examinations last year.”

He added, “They all worked extremely hard and their endeavours have been rewarded.”

By student reporter, Zoe K


Y13 student Mike BYear 13 student, Mike B, has travelled to Granada in Spain to compete in the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Championships.

Facing competition from around the world, Mike’s class was the Junior Men’s 10m air pistol.

Qualification was achieved by being in the top three shooters in the class from Great Britain, based on national ranking.

Mike, from Charmouth finished 57th in the world, making him the highest placed British competitor in his class.

He was delighted at his performance saying, “I am very pleased with my result and am looking ahead to the next competition.”

By Ben L, Student Reporter


Former student, Luke Van Den Barselaar from Chard, has recently attended the Tower Poetry Summer School at Christchurch College, Oxford.

Luke, alongside 12 others, was tutored by poets Jane Griffiths and David Wheatley.

The students also heard from the winner of the £5000 Royal Society of Medicine’s 2014 Open International Hippocrates Poetry and Medicine Prize winner, Jane Draycott, and discussed poetry with Professor Mishtooni Bose.

Luke, a prize winner in last year’s prestigious Tower Poetry Competition run from Christchurch, said his experience was “pretty amazing”. His latest work will be featured in the 2014 Tower Poetry Summer School collection.

Luke, who left Colyton last year, begins his degree in English at Oxford this year.

By student reporter Gemma S

Archive photo shows Luke winning his prize in April 2013


Prefects from Ash House recently organised the school’s participation in Jeans for Genes day, in order to raise money for Genetic Disorders UK. Students and staff wore jeans with their uniform and made voluntary donations to support the cause.

One of the prefects said, “Considering that one of our House charities is the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, this was a perfect opportunity to get involved in a nationwide event that would help a really worthwhile cause.”

Genetic Disorders UK aims to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by genetic disorders.

The figure raise was a whopping £500.

By student reporter Alex F


On Thursday 11 September, Year 11 Art students visited the Saatchi Gallery in London to look at the ‘Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America’ exhibition.

Everyone enjoyed the debut UK solo exhibition of Spanish artist Xavier Mascaró.

We also visited the National Portrait Gallery to see this year's 25th year of the BP Award. The BP Award showcases 55 of the most outstanding and innovative new portraits from around the world. The gallery is also home to the largest collection of portraits in the world, with nearly 2,000 on display from the middle ages to the present day.

The Year 11s had a long but rewarding day, collecting information, drawing from primary sources and experiencing art first hand. This will be a source of inspiration for their AS coursework projects this year.


The Senior Prefect Team organised a Sixth Form vs. Staff Family Fortunes event in July, to raise money for their charity Hand in Hand for Syria.

Mr Bush poses the questions

The panels consisted of Mr Lynch, Mrs Simpson, Mr Bedford and Miss Youens on the teachers team, competing against Ed H, George H, Tom W and Rowan W, with Mr Bush playing the part of Vernon Kay as host.

Teaching staff were surveyed beforehand and the teams had to guess the most popular answers given in order to win points for their teams.

One question asked ‘What happens in Staff House?”

Answers included “moaning” and “high stakes poker”!

The event managed to raise over £180 for the charity, which focuses on providing emergency aid directly to those living under threat in Syria. 

Sixth Form student Sasha C said, “The event was great fun and it’s a good way to raise money for such a worthwhile cause”.

By student reporter Eleanor W

Carly's Angels - Carly S, Lizzie O, Emily RRACE FOR LIFE

Year 8 students Carly S, Lizzie O and Emily R have participated in the 10K ‘Race for Life’ in Taunton in aid of Cancer Research.

The girls raised £1,000 for the charity between them from friends, school friends and family.

All three girls threw themselves into the fund raising and ran a fantastic team race as ‘Carly’s Angels’ on the day.

Carly said: “We really enjoyed it and it’s all for a great cause.”

“Seeing everyone come out and cheer us on was brilliant,” she added.


Year 12 student Louie T has won joint second place in the Heythrop College Essay Prize, securing £100 in prize money.

Louie wrote an essay pondering the question: ‘To what extent is the problem of evil ‘fatal’ for traditional atheism?’

The annual competition, run by the University of London’s Heythrop College, aims to ‘promote academic excellence in the disciplines of Philosophy and Theology’.

There were around 100 entries from around the country.

Entrants could also choose to answer on questions such as: ‘How do you know you’re not a brain in a vat?’

Louie, who submitted his entry in April, said, “It was a nice surprise!”

By student reporter, Alex F


Design and Technology A-level students recently enjoyed a trip to the Peco factory in Beer, to discover how components for model railways are manufactured. Peco have been manufacturing  model railways and electric trains for 68 years, they distribute to countries all over the world and are renowned for their very high quality.

Students were able to follow the entire design process, from the generation of computer concept models and engineers drawings, through production and packaging to final display in a retail setting. Students were delighted to be given an in-depth tour of the factory with expert commentary from Paul Hitchcock (the New Products Development Manager) and Tim Vincent (the shop floor manager).

A highlight of the trip was seeing Peco’s ultra-high-precision machines in action, for example a wire eroder that can make 0.1mm cuts through steel using an electrified brass wire and a computer controlled CNC milling machine that can run at speeds in excess of 38,000 rpm, using tools a fraction of a millimetre in diameter!   They also saw injection moulding, printing and semi-automatic hand assembly and the many quality control checks employed throughout manufacture. One student said “the precision to which they produce a product that seems so simple defies belief”.

Ms Hunter, Head of Design and Technology said of the trip, “We were incredibly lucky to be given such a thorough tour, the students gained valuable insight into how high tech manufacturing methods can be used to assure quality”.

Tim Vincent outlines a critical control step.Year 11 A level Product Design students with Ms Hunter, Head of Design and Technology


As part of Colyton Grammar School’s ‘World War I Day’ on 1 July, Sixth Form English students attended a talk by Prof Tim Kendall, Professor of English at Exeter University.

Tim KendallThe students are studying poetry of the First World War, which is Professor Kendall’s principal area of research.

He has recently published a new anthology of First World War poetry that brings together the best poetry by soldiers and civilian men and women, with a fresh assessment of the work on the centenary of the Great War's outbreak.

His book, ‘Poetry of the First World War: An Anthology’ is one of many that the students can choose to study for their coursework, so it was a privilege for them to ask questions about the anthology and the poems included.

Prof Kendall did a workshop with the students, analysing Rupert Brooke’s ‘The Soldier’ alongside Thomas Hardy’s ‘Drummer Hodge’.

English student Lydia M said, “It was a great opportunity to listen to someone who is an expert in their field.”

“I have now broadened the choice of poets I wish to study as part of my coursework”, she added.

By Student Reporter Eleanor W


Year 8 student Rowan E has been selected as the reserve member of the South West Region Cycling Team for the UK School Games.

The School Games is a premier sporting event for future athletes who have the potential to compete at even Olympic level.

Rowan will have only just turned 13 when the games take place in Manchester in September, and could be racing against competitors three years older than he is.

His participation at such a prestigious event is a tribute to the dedication and discipline he puts into his sport.

Rowan said, “I am very pleased to be where I am and hope to progress my cycling further in the future”.

By student reporter Ben L

Students take part in Smallpeice Electronics with Cyber Security Course

Year 10 students, Ben C and Matthew G, recently attended a residential course on electronic engineering and cyber security at the University of Portsmouth.

The course, organised by The Smallpeice Trust, aims to inspire and encourage young students to consider a career in cyber security and electronics engineering, through both practical and theoretical elements.

Ben and MatthewOver four days, the 53 students attending took part in: ‘solder and keep’ workshops; designing and building circuits; presentations; socials; and many other activities.

The course was also supported by engineers from GCHQ and QinetiQ, who ran hands-on activities and provided students with useful information about possible career paths.

Additionally, Matthew was part of the team which managed to gain the most ‘accumulated points’ over the activities throughout the week, and won an IPod Shuffle and Raspberry Pi.

Dr. Nick Savage, Head of the School of Computing at the University, said, “Cyber security is a key discipline, so it is crucial to enthuse young people while they are still at school.”

The Smallpeice Trust is an independent charity set up in 1966 by Dr Cosby D P Smallpeice - a brilliant, self-taught engineer - which has helped promote engineering as a career through courses for young people aged 12 to 18.

Over the past year, it has engaged with 17,495 students through 35 subsidised residentials, in-school Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) days and starting up STEM clubs.

By Student Reporter, Zoe K

East Devon Athletics Championships

Students from Years 7 and 8 have competed in the East Devon Athletics Championship in Yeovil recently.

All the students involved performed extremely well in both Track and Field events, with both the Year 7 and 8 girls winning their respective trophy from the eight schools competing.

To cap an excellent all-round performance, the Year 7 boys were runners-up, and the Year 8 boys were joint first with Exmouth Community College.

the CGS athletics team, consisting of year 7 and 8s

Miss Shute, Head of PE, said, “There were many strong individual performances, but the team spirit was what really made the atmosphere amazing.”

“I was really impressed with how students cheered each other on supportively!” she enthused.

By Student Reporter, Zoe K


Four Year 11 students went to London recently to take part in ‘Win at School Live, a national Maths competition, coming an impressive 4th overall.

Competing against hundreds of other schools, Colyton’s team successfully got into the final round with twelve other schools.

Teammates Hannah D, Michael T, Ed S and Emma H had a range of questions to answer, including never-before-seen statistics-related challenges.

After the competition at the Royal Statistical Society and dinner with the team, Emma H, team captain, said, “It was really fun, and we learnt so much!”

Maths teacher Mrs Hudson said, “This was an absolutely brilliant experience for the students; we hope to be back next year!”

By student reporter, Alex F


The competition winnersStudents in Year 9 have competed alongside 100s of others from the South West Academic Trust (SWAT), in a region-wide Biology essay writing competition.

The task was to do a ‘report’ envisaging ‘What will humans look like in 3014?’.

Colyton students were primed for the task, having previously attended a talk on evolution from Professors Richard Dawkins and Alice Roberts at a ‘Science Live’ event held in Bristol.

Year 11 Biology ambassadors chose the best three to go forward and represent the school (photo attached) and they were then judged against entries from the other ten SWAT schools.

Eliane R was the best placed Colyton student, coming second in the competition overall after being judged by Exeter University academic Dr Nicola King.

Lily H, one of the Y11 subject ambassadors said, “The standard of entries from Colyton students was very high.”

By student reporter Ben L


Our athletes have recently done exceptionally well in the Devon Summer School Games, held in Plymouth, where they competed against teams from all over Devon.

Both Year 7 and 8 teams won in the Team Pursuit Cycling event and the Orienteering team came second in their competition.

In addition, Dan G was given an individual medal for showing determination and passion whilst competing.

Head of PE, Miss Shute, said: “It was a fantastic day; the teams performed really well and they fully deserved their silver and gold medals.”

The winning cyclists were Nicola R, Alex B, Leo G, Simon D, Anna M, Oliver U, Jonathan C and Tom O.

The Orienteering team consisted of Will S, Max W, Suki H, Aimee G, Jonty E-H, Harry M and Mary C.

By student reporter Gemma S

The memorial garden and its contributersWorld War One Memorial Garden

As part of the World War One Centenary commemorations taking place in school in the summer term, a memorial garden has been completed to remember the Colytonians who died in conflict.

The memorial provides a lasting feature beyond just one day, to remind us of the great sacrifice made by our servicemen.  The garden is designed with a patriotic red, white and blue theme and includes flowers called ‘Thank You’ and ‘Memory’.

On Tuesday 1 July, the school’s designated ‘World War One Day’, students and staff will purchase poppies to lay beneath the memorial stone to help raise money for the Royal British Legion.

The flowerbed was designed by Groundsman Mr Postin, the wooden plaque was made by Site Manager Mr Hutchings, and the metal signage by Technology Technician and former student, Mr Doble.

Also in the photograph are Beth H and Toby R from Year 12.

By Student Reporter, Zoe K


Year 8 student, Luke J, has recently been selected to play for the West Panthers U13 hockey team, representing the west country in the UK Festival of Hockey in Nottingham.

Luke had to participate in four different training sessions in which he competed against forty other players for the final eighteen places.

At the festival, which is on the weekend of 14-15 June, Luke and his team will play against nine other teams from around the UK.

Luke said “I am very happy I got in and that the hard work paid off.”

By student reporter Gemma S

Work begins in Earnest!

Major building works are underway at Colyton Grammar School with several changes planned including the refurbishment and expansion of the Cottrill Hall along with new changing rooms for students.

Giant holes have been appearing all over the site due to the rerouting of gas mains which will reduce costs to the school.

The Cottrill Hall and changing rooms work is scheduled to begin on the 7th July in and should be finished around mid-January 2015.

Mr David Hutchings, Site Manager at Colyton, was pleased with the progress of the project so far saying: “Everything is going to plan and the rerouting of gas mains has allowed us to be greener by improving efficiency.”

By student reporter, Ben L


The cyclists outside the local British Heart Foundation charity shopYear 11 students Tristan A, Eloise C and Andrew T have recently cycled coast-to-coast in aid of the British Heart Foundation.

The trio, who raised £484 in sponsorship, cycled from Sidmouth to Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset, travelling a total of around 57 miles in five and a half hours.

They “all had a great day” despite the steep hills, the punctures and navigation issues that they encountered.  Tristan said: “I chose this charity because my Granddad had a heart attack just over a year ago.”

“Happily he survived and I thought I’d like to raise some money for the BHF, so that more people in the future will survive heart problems,” he added.

The cyclists made a YouTube video about their day which can be viewed here.

The British Heart Foundation is Britain's largest ‘heart’ charity.

By student reporter, Gemma S

Compostin’ Postin

Mr Postin making use of his compostThe school’s groundsman, Mr Trevor Postin, is turning canteen food waste into quality compost that is being used to fertilise the school’s plants.

The project, initiated by the school’s ‘Green Society’, has been running for two years now and is starting to show significant results.

All kitchen waste is loaded into the composter, along with pellets of wood, where it decomposes for a total of six months before being ready to distribute on to the gardens.

The composter can hold up to 900 litres and Mr Postin estimates that he can produce four loads per year, saving the school a considerable sum of money.

Mr Postin said, “It makes a massive difference as we don’t have to buy compost, it suppresses the weeds and the flowers have almost doubled in size because it is really good stuff!”

By student reporter, Alex F

Successful cricketers Tom and LukeHowzat for Cricket Success?

Two junior students, Tom S (12) and Luke J (13), have been selected to play cricket for Devon.

The boys were selected by their coaches to attend trials last season after playing in the District games, with 11 players from each of the four districts.

Tom, who plays for Sidmouth, was “really happy” to be chosen.

This is the first time Luke, who plays for Whimple, has been selected for the Devon squad.

Both boys said they found it tough to get in this year, but are excited to go to the West Cricket Festivals weekend at King’s College, Taunton in the summer.

By student reporter Alex F

Heritage Lottery Fund award for Colyton Grammar School to mark First World War Centenary

Due to the success in winning a Heritage Lottery Fund Award, on Tuesday 1 July we will be marking the 100-year anniversary of the beginning of the First World War with various events during the school day, concluding in the evening with a joint concert at 8pm in the school’s Cottrill Hall with Sidmouth Town Band, who will be performing some WWI pieces and music of Remembrance, also featuring student performances of poetry, music and drama.

All students will be off timetable for the day to take part in a variety of workshops with both teachers and guest speakers, on topics such as wartime technology, music of the war and the use of Dartmoor moss as an antiseptic.  The school library will be turned into a field hospital and front line command post for the day.

Poster with details of the Centenary concert on July 1There will be particular emphasis on Colyton ‘Old Boys’ with a permanent display being created at the front of school consisting of medals and other historical artefacts. Furthermore, 50 students will have the opportunity to win a trip to the recently renovated London Imperial War Museum, tickets to which will be issued throughout the day.

English Teacher, Fiona Harvey, who is jointly co-ordinating the events with Head of History, Christopher Harris, said, “We are privileged to have received the National Lottery grant; it is really exciting to organise such a worthwhile event for students.”  She added “It is really important for students to be aware of the experiences and stories of those involved in the war.”

The Heritage Lottery Fund aims to make a lasting difference through support for heritage, people and communities and since 1994 has supported over 36,500 projects, allocating more than £6billion across the UK.

During the evening, there will also be an opportunity to see examples of the work students have created during the day as part of the special Centenary event.

Readings from war poems and other texts will help tell the story of the war, and students will also be performing some of their own work at the concert.

The concert will conclude with a performance by the school orchestra and choir of ‘Benedictus’ from Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace – a moving finale to a day of activities in which the students will be learning about the events and experiences of a war which shaped the society we know today.

Any money left over from the event will be put towards creating a record book of the day, so that in 100 years’ time people can look back and see what was done. Any profits after that will go to the Royal British Legion.

By Student Reporter, Zoe K

Rebecca with her certificateUniversity of Cambridge Essay Competition Success

Student Rebecca Y, 17, has been highly commended in ‘The Woolf Essay Prize’, a competition run by Newnham College, Cambridge.

The competition commemorates a lecture by Virginia Woolf, who spoke at the college in 1928 on ‘Women and Fiction.’

Rebecca chose to answer on ‘Is there a difference between the ‘creative power’ of men and that of women?’ a topic she wanted to ‘unravel.’

Rebecca, from Ottery St Mary, said, “It was very different to working on a school essay as it was completely under my control and gave me lots of room to explore.”

The Woolf Essay Prize is an annual competition open to all girls currently in Year 12, and questions are designed to give students the opportunity to think and write about women in literature, history, society and culture, while developing their independent study and writing skills.

“I did a lot of background research, and I’m really pleased to have done so well!”, Rebecca said.

By student reporter, Zoe K

University options widen for Y12 student

Isabella BY12 student Isabella B, 17, has been selected by the Sutton Trust for a week’s trip to America this summer, to get a taste for Higher Education in the US.

Isabella, from Budleigh, will spend a week in Boston at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), attending university fairs, visiting Harvard and Yale universities and learning more about what is involved in studying stateside.

With over 2,000 people applying, Isabella had to complete a long application process before being invited as one of the select 200 to the finalists’ weekend when students received talks, including one from the US ambassador.

Having then been selected for the final 175, Isabella also received tutoring for the upcoming ACT exam which she will sit this June.  ACT (American College Testing) is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject area tests in English, Mathematics, Reading and Science, and is accepted by all universities in the United States.

Isabella said, “I am delighted to have been selected for the Sutton Trust US Programme, and am excited about the prospect of visiting and applying to US universities.”

By student reporter, Alex F

The Great German Bake Off

Y8 students making ginerbreadYear 8 students have recently participated in an inter-house German gingerbread baking competition.

The students were presented with both the German and English versions of a recipe for the traditional German gingerbread  ‘Lebkuchen’, and were then tasked with cooking and presenting it in under an hour.

Y8 students celebrating their completed bakes

The judges evaluated both the taste of the gingerbread and the originality of the presentation; concluding overall that those from Oak House were the champions.

The winners were given prizes such as German bags, pens and badges, all of which were supplied by the Goethe Institute.

Mrs Dell, who organised the competition, said, “The Year 8 students followed the German instructions with real skill and should be congratulated on their creative decoration of the Lebkuchen. We felt that the competition was a great success and look forward to future cooking collaborations!”

By Y11 student reporter Gemma S

Student wins prize in national anti-racism competition

Emilia's poster designLast term, a Year 9 student, Emilia A from Sidmouth, was awarded 3rd place in the ‘Year 7-9 Artwork’ category of the ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ competition, attending the awards ceremony at Manchester City FC’s Etihad Stadium.

The competition, organised by the Show Racism the Red Card organisation, challenged entrants to create a piece of artwork, writing, video or song to highlight the issue of racism in sport.  Show Racism the Red Card is the UK’s anti-racism educational charity, established in January 1996. The organisation utilises the high-profile status of football and football players to help tackle racism in society.

Emilia (14) was invited to Manchester for the awards ceremony and to meet the Manchester City Women’s Football Team, before a tour of the stadium.

Emilia’s artwork, created in tutorial lessons and for homework, was a colourful 3D piece using mixed media with the words ‘break free from racism’ inscribed on it.

Emilia said, “I loved the experience and it feels great to think that my work had a small yet positive effect.”

By student reporter, Alex F

Student creates charity CD

Year 12 student Anna H has created a CD in support of the charity B-eat which was successfully released to coincide with the school’s Garden Fair earlier this month.

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The music, which is all in the form of original pieces written by Colyton students, ranges from acoustic-based songs to up-tempo electronica and more tranquil piano music, in a diverse range of tracks.

Copies of the CD are now on sale from the school library priced £5.00.

Anna (17), who hopes to create a second disc this summer, said she “Just wanted to encourage as many musicians as possible to get involved.”

“I am amazed by the incredible musical talents of students from all years”, she added.

B-eat is the leading UK charity for people with eating disorders and money from the sales of Anna’s CD will help fund life-changing work to help sufferers.


Year 13 student, Walter G, has recently been awarded a prestigious Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) QUEST Scholarship. 

Walter receiving his awardThe Scholarship, which will be worth £1000 a year for up to four years of study towards a degree in Civil Engineering, is the first one to have been awarded to a student from our school.

ICE members are providing the funding hoping to encourage more talented young individuals to look towards a career in engineering, as well as strengthening the link between ICE and the school.

Regional Director Trish Johnson confirmed that Walter impressed all with the high standard of his application.

Ms. Johnson who was on the judging panel said:  “QUEST Scholarships are awarded to those striving for the highest standards. Walter has shown great enthusiasm for engineering and will use the Scholarship to aid him in his studies. We wish him success in his future career.”

Commenting on the award, Walter said: “What draws me to civil engineering is its scope. Creating something new opens an infinite field of unexplored possibility and with the world changing as quickly as it is today, civil engineering is becoming even more fascinating.

“It is a brilliant paradox that civil engineering is one of the world's oldest professions, and yet also one of the most dynamic and ever-changing. For thousands of years, civil engineering has been driving human development.”

Walter is pictured receiving his award at the school from David Butler of ICE.

By student reporter, Gemma S

Student takes part in British Schools' Biathlon Championships

Year 9 student Grace H, has competed in the U14 category of the Pentathlon-GB British Schools’ Biathlon Championships. The Modern Biathlon consists of a separate swim and run for all age groups with the distances depending on the competitor’s age.

GraceGrace, a keen athlete, had to compete at regional level in order to get to the national finals held at the Olympic Park in London last month; she was one of the first to participate in events at the pool since it was downsized.

Prior to the event Grace said she was “very excited to be going to the biathlon final this year. It is a great opportunity to swim in a world class venue and I have worked really hard to qualify”.
Grace, who achieved a very respectable overall score, described competing as a “memorable experience at a wonderful venue”, adding that she aims to reach the same stage of the competition next year.

Pentathlon-GB is an organisation aiming to encourage young people to participate in biathlons, triathlons and pentathlons.

By student reporter, Ben L

CGS Student in Dressage Competition

Cameron B, who is in his final year here, has recently competed as part of the Sid and Otter Valley Riding Club junior team, winning the British Riding Clubs Junior Winter Dressage Championships at Hartpury College in Gloucester.

Riding in one of the more difficult tests, Cameron (18) was placed 5th out of 20 riders on his horse Freddie, contributing to his team’s comfortable win.

Dressage is a highly competitive sport that involves riding and training a horse in a manner that develops obedience, flexibility and balance, and each rider performs a routine that tests these key areas.

Cameron, who lives in Whimple, has been the Junior Team manager of the Sid and Otter Valley Riding Club since the start of 2013; it was named the most successful junior club of over 400 in the UK at the end of 2013.

Cameron said: “It was a great weekend with great people, which we convincingly won thanks to an excellent team!”

By student reporter Alex F

School wins £1.24m grant for hall refurbishment

The school has recently won an Academies Capital Maintenance Fund grant from the Government’s Education Funding Agency, to completely refurbish its main school hall.

The grant, worth £1.24 million, will enable the leaking roof to be replaced, toilets, heating and lighting to be improved, and floor space to be increased by 20%.  Additionally, old sports changing rooms will be demolished and replaced with a new building to form a backstage green room, toilets and storage.

The main building will have a new foyer, a small refreshments servery for public events, a new lighting gallery and 200 roll-out seats, making it easier to watch and put on productions.

The plans for Cottrill Hall

Headteacher Paul Evans said, “The Cottrill Hall is the focal point of the school and we have needed these exciting improvements for a very long time.”

The first stages of construction will be the building of replacement sports changing rooms, which will be completed by October half term. The main hall will be finished in January 2015.

By student reporter, Zoe K

Thomas C-K's highly commended entryCGS student sails away

Year 12 student, Thomas C-K, has been ‘highly commended’ for his entry in the Fine Art Sails Competition for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation in Weymouth.

The competition challenged students to create a design for a sail which will be unveiled at the opening of the Foundation in May, in memory of Olympic Sailor Andrew Simpson.

Although narrowly missing out on being the winner in his age category, Thomas (16),  was delighted with the praise for his design which he says, “was inspired by the sea”.
Aware of Weymouth’s staging of the Olympic sailing events in 2012, Thomas added, “I tried to incorporate an Olympic theme, which was great fun to design”.

By student reporter, Alex F


Because of the school’s association with the Goethe Institut, Headteacher, Mr Evans, was recently invited to Kensington Palace for the launch of the Palace’s ‘The Glorious Georges’ season, celebrating 300 years of the Hanoverian Succession.  The chief guest at the event was Dr Rudolf Adam, the German Embassy's Deputy Head of Mission.

With the death of Queen Anne in 1714, the British turned to her distant relatives in Hanover for a monarch, leading to the ‘Georgian period’ - a vibrant time for the arts and sciences.  The anniversary of this link is being celebrated by numerous events in Britain and Germany.

Kensington Palace, where the glittering court of George II and Queen Caroline burst onto the scene in 1727, has seen William Kent’s splendid state apartments restored to their former glory. At the palace, Mr and Mrs Evans were greeted by old Colytonian, Felicity Sutherland, who left Colyton in 1999 and is now Development Manager for Historic Royal Palaces. 

They were introduced to ‘George II’ and enjoyed a private view of the apartments before they opened to the public. Mr Evans said, “It was a privilege to be one of the first to see the refurbished apartments and, as always, a delight to meet a successful Colytonian!”

By student reporter, Nicole T

British Gymnastics Acrobatic Championships 2014

March 2014: Year 8 student, Charlotte B, has recently competed in the British Gymnastics Acrobatics Competition in Bristol, coming in a superb 4th place.
Charlotte and her partner performed three 2.5 minute routines demonstrating their skills in Balance, Tempo (including music) and a combination of the two.

Charlotte and her partner competing in the finalThe event, lasting a whole weekend, saw a high standard of acrobatics and Charlotte was “proud” to have earned her impressive finishing position.

Charlotte is “looking forward” to competing again this month, with the same routine, in Stoke-on-Trent for the British Championships.

By student reporter, Eleanor W

STOP PRESS: Since the above article was written, Charlotte has returned from the British Championship with a Bronze Medal for her performance in the Age Group Mixed Pair category with her partner, Josh Jackson, from Plymouth. The partnership performed two routines in the qualification stage.  The first incorporating a range of partner and individual balance elements, with the second focused on dynamic catches, somersaults and tumbling.  At the end of qualification they were placed fifth overall, knowing they needed to up their game to achieve their target of a medal. 

For the finals, Charlotte and Josh performed a brand new combined routine including the most difficult balance and dynamic elements.  As in qualification, this was choreographed to music and demonstrated their strength, agility and artistic skills.  Despite the pressure, they succeeded in performing all the required skills without faults, ultimately securing third place and the satisfaction that they had significantly improved their performance during the course of the weekend.

Following this success, Charlotte has now been invited to compete at the Winti-Cup in Switzerland in early May, and is training hard in preparation for this exciting international opportunity.

The Winti-Cup takes place every two years in Winterthur and is one of the largest acrobatic competitions in the world.

Students Wear a Hat for Charity

Students and staff got creative recently and wore a hat of their choice in aid of the Brain Tumour Research Charity.

Behatted students Charlotte, Emily and HelenThere was a great turnout, with everyone sporting hats from sombreros to fezzes, in return for a donation to the Buckinghamshire-based charity.

‘Wear a hat day’ is an annual, nationwide event aiming to raise £1 million to build a new sustainable long-term research centre.

Year 12 student Miranda S, who co-ordinated the event at the school said, “I’m really pleased with the amount of people who have worn hats for such a great cause, everyone looked amazing and we managed to raise £424!”

By student reporter Zoe K

Sixth formers organise music workshop for primary students

On 17 March 2014, three Year 12 students organised a music workshop for St Mary’s Primary School in Axminster.

The workshop in progressThe event saw 33 string players from St Mary’s coming to Colyton for the day, to learn several new pieces in preparation for a final performance.

Entirely organised by Alicia H, Alice B and Annabelle B, the workshop will contribute towards their Gold Arts Award.

The scheme, run by Trinity College London, aims to support young people who want to deepen their engagement with the arts, build creative and leadership skills, and to achieve a national qualification.

Alice said: “It was hard work and sometimes difficult to get the children to concentrate, but the day was fun and very rewarding.”

The primary school children learnt a piece called ‘Ripe Banana Ripe’ by Peter Martin, which they thoroughly enjoyed.

School concert in Exeter Cathedral

The Orchestra and Senior Choir travelled to Exeter Cathedral on Saturday 29 March, to put on their major concert for this year.

After impressing last year with a performance of Handel’s Messiah, the Music Department returned for a combined Choir and Orchestra concert which involved over 150 students performing alongside professionals.

The evening had a German theme - represented by music from German composers whose work spanned four centuries - which was inspired by the school’s recent partnership with the Goethe Institut.

The Orchestra, which consists of students from all ages in the school alongside adult players, accompanied the piano soloist Samantha Ward in the first half, performing Schumann’s ‘Piano Concerto in A Minor Op. 54’.

The second act involved the choir singing a variety of pieces, from composers such as J.S. Bach, Schutz, Rheinburger and ending with Faure’s Requiem.

Throughout the choral pieces there were solo performances from former students Chloe Stratta (left 2010) and Daniel Rudge (2006), who were both previously members of the Senior Choir and Orchestra and have now gone on to pursue music professionally.

The evening was a great success and the school’s Director of Music, David House, said, “Over the years we have built our own tradition at Colyton of performing major works on an annual basis, and it is a really great opportunity for the students to be able to perform in such an amazing venue and to see them having so much fun in the process.”

The choir is to return to the cathedral on Wednesday 23 April, to sing the service of Evensong.

By student reporter, Eleanor W

CGS Students Debate at Exeter University

Eleven students from Years 9 and 10 have been to Exeter University recently to compete in the South West Academic Trust’s Debating and Public Speaking event.

The CGS debate teamThe teams challenged other schools from across the Southwest region, debating subjects such as: ‘Should wind farms be banned?’ and ‘Should we tax unhealthy foods?’. 

Their discussions were judged by students from the various schools from Years 10 and 12.

Our students performed well, with the Year 10 team finishing runners-up after debating: ‘Should home-schooling be banned?’, after just 40 minutes preparation time.

Year 9 student, Safi L, said, “It was challenging to work under the time pressure, but we all had a great time and learnt a lot about public speaking and working as a team.”

The South West Academic Trust is a partnership of leading grammar schools from across the South West with Exeter University, whose aim is to raise standards and aspirations through gifted and talented research, subject department links, student activities and links with community schools.

By Student Reporter Zoe K


Grace H has qualified for the final of the British Schools’ National Biathlon Championships 2014 in April.

The event was open to school-age children, requiring them to run and swim various distances according to their age.

Year 9 student Grace, aged 13, has qualified for the final for the first time, which will be held in the London 2012 Olympic pool at the London Aquatics Centre.

Grace, a very keen athlete who swims for Chard and District Swimming Club, said she is  “very excited to be going to the biathlon final this year”, as she has “worked really hard to qualify”.  “It is a great opportunity to swim in a world class venue”, she added.

Around 1600 athletes aged nine to 18 will descend on the Olympic Park for the championship finals. The younger athletes swim 50m and run 800m, while the older age groups swim 200m and run 1600m. The girls’ competition is on Saturday 5 April, with the boys in action on Sunday 6 April.

Athletes qualified to compete at the championships by setting qualifying times at a number of events around the country. Around 4,000 young people entered those qualifiers.

By student reporter Eleanor W


Lauren H, a Sixth Form student, has been selected for the final round of the Olympic recruitment programme ‘Girls4Gold’.

LaurenGirls4Gold is a nationwide search for fit, powerful, competitive female athletes who want to fulfil their Olympic ambitions as part of the Female Canoe Sprint Programme and the Olympic Team.

It is a perfect opportunity for the girls who apply to develop potential and see if they have what it takes to compete with the elite in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Lauren, from Charmouth, took part in a number of training days as part of the application process, which tested her power, stamina and speed.

Out of over 1,000 applicants, Lauren was one of 120 girls selected to attend a more sport-specific Phase 2 assessment in Nottingham last month.

Mark Hoile, GB’s Canoeing UK Talent Lead Coach said, “Compared to past campaigns, I would say that the quality of athletes we saw were of a much higher calibre than we have seen before.”

“The girls we saw looked very athletic, they were focused and determined and excited about this opportunity,” he added.

Lauren, who is about to turn 17, said, “It has always been an ambition of mine to be in the Olympics and I really hope that I get through to the next round - it’s challenging but so enjoyable and worthwhile.”

She will hear in the next few weeks whether she has been successful.

By student reporter Eleanor W

Libby with her certificateOFF BY HEART

Year 13 student Libby N, has qualified for the national final of the Poetry By Heart Competition by winning the regional heat at Ivybridge Library on 12 February 2014, competing against schools from across Devon.

Libby recited three poems including a First World War poem, The Stretcher Bearer by Tommy Crawford, from memory.

Libby will take part in the National Finals, hosted by founder of ‘Poetry By Heart’ Sir Andrew Motion, in mid-March, on an all-expenses-paid trip to London.  The final takes place in the National Portrait Gallery.

After winning the regional heat, Libby was straight back to school for an 11.00pm departure of the A-level History study visit to Krakow.

Her English teacher, Mrs Harvey, described her performance as “sensitive and moving”.

By student reporter Alex F


Tristan C receiving his trophyThe spelling bee in progress

Feb 2014: Mr Bush presents Tristan C with the inaugural Year 8 Spelling Bee trophy, minutes after his exciting victory on behalf of Cedar House, witnessed by all of Years 7 and 8!

Beanie playing the recorder


Y11 student Beanie S, is to audition for the National Youth Recorder Orchestra 2014 Summer School.

Beanie (15) has already been playing with the 'second' orchestra for three years, but is now eligible for the first orchestra, having passed Grade 8 with distinction.

If accepted, participants study with professional tutors and conductors at the Easter and Summer residential courses and at Recorder Days around the country, benefitting from tuition covering all aspects of technique and interpretation.

The National Youth Recorder Orchestra is promoted by the Society of Recorder Players, to demonstrate the highest quality of youth orchestral performance, and the summer schools end with a prestigious public performance.

Beanie says she is “very excited and quite confident about the outcome of her upcoming audition”.

By student Reporter, Charley H

STOP PRESS: Beanie was successful and had been accepted to the National Youth Recorder 2014 Summer School.

By Gemma Smale, student reporter


The school’s Year 12 String Quartet travelled to Dean Close School, Cheltenham on 4 February 2014, to compete in the regional heat of the Pro-Corda National Chamber Music Competition.

Y12 string quartetDespite not being chosen for the semi-final, the Quartet, consisting of Alicia H, Joseph G, Annabelle B and Alice B, all learnt from the experience and received very favourable comments from a top violinist.

As well as their ten minute programme, including music by Beethoven and Puccini, the group received nearly an hour of detailed coaching from Rafael Todes, a member of the prestigious Allegri Quartet.

Mr House, Director of Music at the school said, “I am very proud of the four musicians, not only did they play with great intonation on the day, but they rehearsed and organised the whole thing themselves.”

“The whole group enjoyed the day very much, particularly the tea and cakes afterwards!” he added.

By Student Reporter, Zoe K


Feb 2014: Year 12 student, Joseph G, has become a member of the ‘Training Choir South’, the regional sub-division of the acclaimed National Youth Choirs of Great Britain.  The NYC comprises a total of eight choirs for 750 gifted young people between the ages of 8 and 24. Thousands of students try for places at the Royal Albert Hall auditions, performing a short section from two prepared pieces - one of which is an unaccompanied traditional song.

Joseph (17) chose a Baritone solo from Fauré's Requiem, a wonderful choral work due to be performed by the CGS Senior Choir in Exeter Cathedral at the end of March.
“Although the audition was nerve-racking, I am proud to have succeeded, ”Joseph said.  “I am looking forward to singing with others and learning from some of the best vocal coaches,” he  added.

Director of Music at the school, Mr House, commented that Joseph’s success was, “A fantastic achievement and testament to his dedication and growing vocal confidence.”

By student Reporter, Ben L


Feb 2014: A team of four Year 13 students have recently reached the regional final of the Institute of Financial Services (IFS) ‘Student Investor Challenge’ competition.

Students Will W, Henry S, Jake H and Harry W competed alongside 30,000 students from across the country.

The team made more than £9,000 in just three months of trading in virtual shares, outperforming the FTSE 100 share index in doing so.

They are due to represent the school in March 2014, at the South West England and South Wales Regional Finals in Bristol.

Head of Business Studies, Mrs Rew said: “This is a fantastic achievement - we are eagerly anticipating the finals.”

By student reporter Gemma S


Feb 2014: Former student Heidi Thiemann, from Woodbury, who left school in 2013, had the privilege of meeting Colonel Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian astronaut, at the University of Leicester recently.

Colonel Hadfield was the Commander of the International Space Station, who became an overnight sensation with his stunning space photography and educational ‘how to’ videos on life in space.

During his visit to the University, he met a number of Physics and Astronomy students, Heidi among them, who shared their research with him through displays and demonstrations.

Heidi (18) helped demonstrate the University’s ‘pretty awesome Planeterella experiment’, which simulates the Northern Lights.

The same machine was then used by Professor Brian Cox on BBC Stargazing Live about a month later.

Leicester is home to The National Space Centre and the University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy is highly rated.

By student reporter Eleanor W


Y13 student Emma H, rated 4.1 and 5th nationally, has achieved highly in tennis recently.

Emma (17) secured a huge success in January 2014, in the Bath Grade 2 U18s Girls’ Tournament, where she reached the finals of this highly-rated national event.

Emma secured wins against full-time national performance players to reach the finals of the event, closely missing out on the final win against a 3.2 rated player (from Cheshire). The final match score was 6-3, 7-5.

Emma said, “I am really proud to have reached the finals of this really competitive tournament; it was unexpected, but shows that my hard work in training is paying off!”

Emma has also done extremely well recently, competing in international events such as the British Tour and the Junior Nationals.

By student reporter Isabella B


Two staff members have each been given a Long Service Award for 20 years of dedicated work.

Mrs Burns-Price and Miss Parsons, the Librarian and the Headteacher’s Personal Assistant respectively, both joined the school in 1993, and can remember it undergoing many changes.

Mrs Burns-Price and Miss Parsons receive their awardsIn twenty years the school has expanded significantly and new buildings such as the Sports Hall, the Sixth Form Study Centre and the Walker Building (which houses the library) have gone up.

Mrs Burns-Price even remembers “being shown the Internet for the very first time by an IT teacher”.

Both women have contributed a great deal during their time at Colyton.

Mrs Burns-Price has been commended in particular for the work she has done to develop the school website, and for organising the team of volunteer parent helpers.  Miss Parsons has been praised for the great range of administrative work she deals with super-efficiently.

Miss Parsons, a former pupil of the school, particularly enjoys the “element of community” that the school has, as well as the variety of work she receives.  “Every year is different,” she says.

Similarly, Mrs Burns-Price feels: “It’s a pleasure to come into work,” as the environment is “stimulating” and there’s “always something new every day”.

They received their awards at the end of January 2014, from the Chair of the Governors’ Staffing Committee, Mrs Linda Linnell.

By student reporter Siobhan P


In September 2013, some of our Sixth Form German students entered a competition to raise awareness of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and his work, by translating a poem for display in the main school reception.

The poem was chosen to fit the location, with the apt title “Willkommen und Abschied” (“Welcome and Farewell”). 

The competition winners

Prizes were awarded at the Goethe Institut launch in two categories: ‘Accurate translation’ and ‘Presentation’.

The winners are pictured holding their framed works. Our thanks to Mr Fitzgerald from the Art Department who has done a fantastic job of mounting and displaying the work!

Mrs Dell


Nicole T, Y12Nicole T in Year 12 has been selected to participate in Raleigh International's 10-week expedition to Costa Rica and Nicaragua from July to September 2014. She will be helping a local community to build clean, safe water supplies and build schools, as well as helping to protect the environment; looking after the local wildlife and working in the rainforests.

Finally she will undertake a 19-day adventure, trekking across the two countries, between active volcanoes and along beaches

She has set up an official fundraising page on JustGiving and would be very grateful for your support.

Former Colyton Student Achieves Media Promotion

Daniel Johnson, who left Colyton Grammar School in 2009 to read History at Durham University, has recently been promoted to ‘Formula One Correspondent at The Telegraph.

Dan JohnsonDan, who joined the paper in 2012, is currently following investigations into Michael Schumacher’s skiing accident.

Originally from Honiton, Dan explained that when at university he spent a lot of time working with the student newspaper, editing it for two terms.

“This helped me to get bits of work experience, which in turn got me on to the Telegraph's graduate scheme,” he explained.
Dan worked for a local newspaper for five months in Liverpool, as well as the Press Association.

Headteacher Paul Evans commented, “It’s great to see the sheer variety of jobs that former students are now securing.”

By student reporter, Anna H

Billy RY10 student plays for Devon on South African cricket tour

Jan 2014: Year 10 student, Billy R, has been selected to represent Devon on the U15s cricket tour of South Africa. 

The team is due to fly out for two and a half weeks in February, spending the first week in the Kruger National Park and the rest of the trip in Cape Town.

Billy will play seven matches during the tour; one against a township side whose kit has been part-funded by the visiting side.

The team will also visit Table Mountain, Robben Island and go on a safari.

Billy said, “I am really looking forward to the cricketing challenges, and the opportunities I will get to see South Africa.”

Report by Isabella B, student reporter

STOP PRESS: In February, Billy went to South Africa as captain of the Devon u-16 cricket team.

The team spent two weeks in South Africa where they played 7 matches. The team won twice and drew in another match against some tough opponents.

During their time in South Africa the team visited Table Mountain, Robben Island and went on a safari.

Billy said: ‘It was a great opportunity to play cricket in another country, and to experience their culture and wildlife’.


Jan 2014: Thank you goes out to the one hundred and seventy six parents who responded to our recent homework survey. The results can be seen here. The data has already been used by the school to identify areas where we can make small improvements to enhance the independent learning experience of students completing homework. We are currently looking at the information provided by parents and students to improve our homework policy for the future. Thanks again for the detailed and thoughtful comments.

Former Head Boy wins 'Only Connect'

Jan 2014: Hywel Carver, former Head Boy and a regular on TV quiz shows, has tasted success once more in BBC4’s ‘brainbox’ series Only Connect.

Hywel CarverThe quiz, hosted by Victoria Coren, asks fiendishly difficult questions of contestants, challenging them to make connections between apparently unconnected things.

Hywel and his team the ‘Board Gamers’ were champions after winning through four rounds of increasingly baffling challenges.

Hywel, who has been described as a ‘game show veteran’, won £20,000 on Who Wants to be A Millionaire a few years ago and, more recently, he was in a UCL team for University Challenge that made it as far as the semi-finals.

By student reporter, Eleanor W

Chamber Choir at Truro Cathedral

The school’s Chamber Choir travelled to Cornwall on Thursday 9 January, to sing the service of Evensong in Truro Cathedral. Cathedrals throughout the UK hold daily services and it was a real privilege to be invited down as a visiting choir.

The 41 Sixth Form students performed psalms, responses, a setting of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis by George Dyson and an anthem by the Italian composer Lassus, in which the choir sang in eight parts as two Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass groups.

Director of Music, Mr House, said of the event: “I was delighted to take the choir to my home city of Truro, and give everyone the chance to sing in the wonderful acoustics of the cathedral.”

“The singing throughout Evensong was confident, controlled and very musical,” he added.

As with all Chamber Choir events, the trip was rounded off with an excellent meal out before the journey back to Devon.

By student reporter and choir member, Maddie G




Giant Plant Puppet Takes to the Stage in Student-run Production

Dec 2013: Following the success of previous student-run musicals ‘Sweeney Todd’ and ‘Oh!  What a Lovely War’, a team led by Year 13 student Libby N (18), ran an exciting production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ earlier this month.

Little Shop of HorrorsThe story is set in 1960s New York.  An orphan named Seymour (played by 17-year-old Harvey M) works in a downtown florist shop and discovers a new and unidentified plant.  Feeding only on human blood, the plant grows and grows, progressing from hand-puppet to larger ‘costume’ puppet, and then into an enormous, mechanically-jawed model controlled by three puppeteers and able to ‘swallow’ actors and actresses whole on stage.

Will N (15), who was part of the team working the puppet said “It was great to be given the opportunity to ‘eat’ people on stage with a giant plant!”

Ellie C (15), who played the part of Audrey, said “I loved being in the show, it was such a good opportunity to do acting and musical theatre in school. The fact that it was run by Sixth Formers really has been inspiring as well and I feel so proud to have been involved with it. Many people have said to me how great they thought the show was!”

The plot also features on-stage song, dance and music played by a live band, as well as Seymour’s enemy - the sadistic dentist Orin, played by Jacob M (17) complete with Bosch power drill and gas mask. 

Year 12 student William B (17), who played the role of the plant singing and speaking through a microphone backstage, reflected “Even as someone who has never done drama, I found the experience great fun and a real confidence boost.”

The show played to very appreciative audiences on three consecutive nights and all proceeds from ticket sales are going to the Typhoon Haiyan Philippines appeal.

School donates festive grub to Exeter Foodbank

Dec 2013: Colyton Grammar School students have managed to collect a grand total of 1,254 items of food to donate to Exeter Foodbank.

The donation was organised by a group of Year 10 students, whose target was to raise 1,000 items to give to the charity.

The foodbank collectionYear 10 student, Todd O, who took the lead in organising the event said, “It was immensely gratifying to have the support of the whole school to help us reach our target.”

The school has been organising a donation to the Foodbank for a number of years, with students working very hard to organise the collection in time for Christmas.

Exeter Foodbank is a local charity that helps feed families in crisis, who simply cannot afford to put food on the table.

As growing numbers of people are turning to the Foodbank for emergency food, the charity is in desperate need of donations.

The school’s donation was accepted by Foodbank representative, Pete Scott, who said: “We will have to feed about 100 people this week who are in desperate need of food, so we would like to thank the school community for this impressive contribution, it is a big help”.

By student reporter, Eleanor W

Pete Scott later added "The food weighed in at 643.2kg ... a magnificent effort from the Year 10 tutor group. A very BIG 'thank you' to them all ... an impressive team effort. Congratulations to Todd too, for masterminding it all so efficiently. Last week has been very busy at Foodbank ... distributing over 180 3-day food parcels in just two days!”

The Sunday Times Parent Power 2013

The school is delighted that the achievements of its 2013 leavers and the current Year 11 students, in the A2 and GCSE Examinations last summer, have been recognised by The Sunday Times in their annual tables of school performance.
The school moved up four places to be 12th in the list of the Top 500 State Schools.  Congratulations to the students on their achievements and thanks to a hard working staff, who supported and encouraged this success.
Click here for The Sunday Times Schools Guide.


A team of Sixth Form students travelled to Bournemouth recently to compete in the regional finals of the Bar National Mock Trial Competition.

The team outside Bournemouth’s Crown & County CourthousesThe team of 16 students from Years 11 to 13 competed with seven other schools from all over the South West.

Students take on the roles of barristers and witnesses and present their cases against other teams in real courtrooms, in front of real judges.

Colyton, previous National and International Champions, was not so successful on this occasion, however, team captain Sarah B said, “We worked really hard to get to this stage and it was an amazing day.”

“Even though we didn’t get to go to the National Finals this year, it’s still a great experience and we wish next year’s team the best of luck!” she added.

By student reporter, Eleanor W

County Netball Finalists

Our  U19, U16 & U14 netball teams represented the East Devon area at the County netball finals, held at Exeter University in November.

All teams played a high standard of netball and did well in their sections.  The  U19 & U16 teams narrowly missed out on a place in the semi-finals, despite their best efforts.

After a shaky start, the U14 team did make the semi-finals and had a tough match against West Buckland School from north Devon, which they eventually lost. 

They were therefore placed third in the County behind West Buckland and Blundell’s schools.

The under-14 netball teamU14 team

Becky T
Olivia W
Cissie M
Hannah B
Josie B
Georgie S
Grace H
Evie J
Livvie K (Capt)
Anna L
Natalie L


Friday 29 Nov 2013: The extra non-uniform day held today, in aid of the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, raised a magnificent £697.71.

In addition, over £500 was taken from an impromptu retiring collection at the St Cecilia’s Day concert on 22 November.

More fundraising soon to take place in the form of student buskers, who will be entertaining and collecting around the school during every lunchtime next week.

Also, at the very end of term the result of the inter-House 1p / 2p ‘pennies competition’ will be announced, along with the grand total raised from all of the fundraising events.

Thank you everyone!


Presenters Mr Bush and Cai SThank you to the Senior Prefect Team for organising a staff v student Would I Lie to You? event on Friday.

The students versus teachers version of the TV panel show Would I Lie To You?,  in which the teachers seemed to be much more successful with their ‘lies’, raised £325.30 for the BBC’s Children in Need appeal.

The teams were Mr Banks, Miss Westhead and Mrs Brownley, versus Sixth Formers Libby N, Walter G and Jai L.

Presenters were Mr Bush and Cai S.

The event was a huge fundraising success and the teachers’ team won.

Miss Westhead said (without batting an eyelid), “It was an easy and predictable win; it was obvious from the start that the teachers’ team was going to win!”

Headteacher, Mr Evans commented: “Once again the resourcefulness and hard work of the Senior Prefect Team in leading the effort deserves great praise.”

The non-uniform day raised a further £653.50, making a grand total of £978.80 raised by students and staff.


This October the library ran a writing competition for students, the winners of which have now been announced. Year 7 students Morgan S, Sebastian S and Anton T all won book prizes for placing as runners-up in the contest, whilst Joseph G, also in Year 7, was highly commended.

The overall winner was Year 8 student Freya R, whose entry is published below:

Deep in the dark graveyard
Where shadows seem always to grow
Screams from dead souls whose
Faces they’ll never show

Deep in the dark graveyard
In the dead of night
Rain pelts down and thunder sounds
And lightning gives the only light

Deep in the dark graveyard
You’ll never be so scared
What’s that behind  you?
What’s that beside you?
To come here, no other has dared!


Jordan Raine with fellow undergraduates, Prof Michael Farthing and John Cutts

Colyton alumnus Jordan Raine is pictured (centre with two fellow undergraduates), with Professor Michael Farthing, Vice-Chancellor of Sussex University and Chief Executive of corporate finance business at Pall Mall Capital, John Cutts, at the Sussex University Learning to Lead Celebration Dinner

Jordan was among a small group of top students involved in the prestigious leadership programme the university runs.

Taste of Stardom for poetic student

The Foyle Young Poets Competition is the largest under-18 poetry competition in the world. This year, Emma L in Year 12 was one of the winners with her poem Love Is a Knife with which I Explore Myself, which describes the murder of a woman by her husband. "It was probably the best poem I’ve written", said Emma, who finished it when she was just 15. emma

"I didn’t want to write something based on personal experiences and my feelings because there are better things to write about." Emma’s poem was crowned victorious along with 14 other young poets’ works. The student’s achievement was even more impressive as entrant numbers showed that the competition had a record number of poems submitted - 7,478 pieces from 75 countries.

Emma and her fellow winners were crowned at a ceremony in London, where they read their poems to an audience.

"I was so nervous", Emma said, "But, it was great when I did it. To be honest, it hasn’t really set in that I’ve won. I still feel in shock." The winners’ works will be published in an anthology, which is set to be released in March 2014. In the meantime, Emma has set her sights on further victories in other challenging competitions. "I’m planning to enter a poem in the Christopher Tower Poetry Competition", she said. "It’s a step up, as I would receive a monetary prize if I were to win." In last year’s Tower Competition, £3,500 was awarded between first, second and third place victors, but Emma isn’t too fazed about the high-end rewards. "At the end of the day, I don’t enter competitions with the mindset that I just have to win", she said. "I write because it’s a passion of mine, and I enjoy people who enjoy my poems. I think it’s everyone’s dream to be recognised for doing something they love." Here is Emma's poem


The School's Christian Union is once again running a collection for Operation Christmas Child.

Operation Christmas Child is the world’s largest children’s Christmas project, run by the charity Samaritan’s Purse. They have been sending gift-filled shoeboxes around the world since 1990, bringing joy and hope to the lives of over 100million underprivileged children.

We have chosen to support their Shoebox Appeal this year and are asking for the support of the whole school.  Our target is 100 boxes, which we hope will be achievable as there are over 600 families with children in our school!

Please encourage your children to fill a box, or to group together with their friends and donate one. Collection will start after half-term and the deadline for boxes is Thursday 14 November.


Former Head Boy, Hywel Carver, who two years ago reached the semi-finals of University Challenge, is back on television in another quiz show.

Hywel’s first appearance on TV quizzes was when winning a cash prize on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

His latest appearances are on brainbox BBC 4 quiz Only Connect hosted by Victoria Coren.

Hywel, who has left university to start a his own company and who was recently interviewed by Game Show Central about being a ‘game show veteran’ said Only Connect was “a lot of fun” and the people behind it were “incredibly friendly and  interesting”.

Gold DUKE oF EDINBURGH Team Completes First Practice

Six Y12 students have recently completed their first training expedition for their Gold DofE award, walking 55 kilometres around Exmoor National Park over the course of three days.

The team had to carry all of their equipment and food with them in backpacks, including two tents, stoves and fuel bottles.  The expedition involved navigating a pre-planned route through footpaths and bridleways, as well as open moorland and spending two nights camping out. Team member Susannah F said: “The learning curve was steep, and so were some of the hills.”

Enduring wind and pouring rain on both days, the team’s supervisor, Mark Haward added: “I'm glad the team have experienced these adverse weather conditions, now they will be ready for anything on their final expedition.”

This final expedition lasts for four nights and will take place on Dartmoor or the Brecon Beacons.

By Student Reporter, Anna H


This term the school’s netball teams have won the East Devon Netball tournaments at U14,U16 & U18 and qualified for the County finals being held at Exeter University on the 19 & 26 November 2013.

In each age group they played superb netball and had convincing wins against:

  • Cullompton Community College
  • Exmouth Community College
  • Honiton Community College
  • The King’s School, Ottery St Mary
  • Sidmouth College
  • Uffculme school

National Poetry Day Competition Winners

On 3 October 2013, the English Department celebrated National Poetry Day.

Students in Years 7 and 8 were encouraged to take part in a poetry trail, finding the 12 water-themed poems on display around school and answering the questions about them. We also ran a poetry competition, receiving a number of thoughtful and imaginative entries on the theme of water.

Congratulations to Ece and Joseph whose winning poems are printed below:

Rapids sonnet
Likened to froths of whipped cream and meringue
White as the ice moon when the sun does rest,
I whip and beat and change the hardened land
While wearing with pride my silvery crest.
I know in days past and future untold,
I will lie slack in a willow-framed pool.
My fury will leave me as I grow old,
But for now I shall roar my lonesome rule.
The rocks I forged stand slick in emerald wreaths:
Course markers, to guide me and show the way.
I throw down the currents that roll beneath
The glistening mirror that swells into waves.
Onwards I storm, above the mossy glaze,
In a haze living out my glory days.

Ece W 80

The lake
A turquoise oval rests
Surrounded by a fortress of trees,
It ripples gently in the light breeze
Occasionally taking tiny grains of sand
From the golden shore that covers the perimeter.
Beneath the glistening surface
Lie the swampy and murky depths.
Creatures plough through the dark and muddy water
Desperate to finally reach their polluted
Underwater home.

Joseph G 7A


The school’s Ukulele Group recently visited Elmwood Care Home in Colyford, to perform for the residents.

Music teacher Mrs Lester took five students from various year groups, who have only been practising together as a newly formed band since September.

Students performed pieces such as London Bridge is Falling Down and Frère Jacques, with the audience joining in enthusiastically.

Residents clearly enjoyed the performance; the Music Department hope to extend further their work outside school in the future.

By Student Reporter, Isabella B

The Ukulele Group at Elmwood Care Home


Colyton Grammar School Sixth Form students were lucky to be visited by Will Wallner, a former Colyton student from Shute, near Axminster, who has now made it ‘big’ in the USA as a heavy metal guitarist.

Will left Colyton 8 years ago to study ‘Music and Sound Technology’ at Portsmouth University.  After graduating he moved to Hollywood, where he has lived for the past five years, to study at the Musicians’ Institute.

“Los Angeles is just such an interesting place – it’s so diverse,” he comments.

Will Wallner talks to student reporter Isabella BThe guitarist has toured with many well know groups in the rock world, including Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, and is currently back in Devon prior to a UK and European tour.

Recently, during a lunch time at the school, Will talked to the students about his experiences and memories of Colyton, and how he got to where he is now; he even impressed students by demonstrating some incredible guitar playing. 

Will encouraged the audience to “always go for the best” and advised that those who have dreams of becoming musicians should not let it get in the way of academic success, because “you always have time to follow your ambitions.”

Will remembered his time at school warmly,  “I am still close with my school friends from 8 years ago and I have a lot of fond memories of the school”, he said.

By Student Reporter, Isabella B


The students on the trip, pictured by the London EyeIn September, Year 12 and 13 Government & Politics and Business & Economics students went to London to enrich their knowledge of the UK legal and political system.

The students experienced a guided tour of the Supreme Court, the highest court of law in the UK.

They also visited 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace, before taking a second guided tour of the House of Commons.

Head of Politics, Mr Harris said, “The trip was a great opportunity for students to gain a real insight into the governance of the UK, and to see how what they learn about in class applies to the real world.”

By student reporter Maddie G


This September saw the launch of a unique collaboration with German cultural association, the Goethe Institut.

The prestigious partnership launch ceremony took place in the school’s Cottrill Hall. Invited guests included parents, students, staff and governors, teachers from local primary & secondary schools, a representative from East Devon District Council, the Chairman of Devon County Council and representatives from local businesses and twinning organisations.

Stefano Weinberger, head of Culture and Education at the German Embassy, said “Colyton will be part of a thrilling global endeavour”, as “supporting partnerships with schools worldwide is a vital part of German foreign policy.”

Dr Georgia Herlt, Deputy Director of the Goethe Institut London, said that CGS is “lighting a beacon” in becoming a partner school, as the partnership will hopefully benefit local primary and secondary schools and twinning associations.

Head of Global Response Centre, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Meg Williams said that, from the British Foreign Office perspective, the partnership is a perfect project in two respects: firstly because Germany is a key partner [of Britain] in Europe, and secondly because there is currently renewed emphasis within the Foreign Office on British Diplomats speaking foreign languages.  Therefore, any project encouraging young people to take up a foreign language is to be welcomed.


There is a fantastic opportunity to get involved with a new youth jazz orchestra, made up of students who attend any of the schools in the Jurassic Coast Teaching Schools’ Alliance (JCTSA)

Working closely with Devon Youth Jazz, rehearsals will be held in the Music Centre at Colyton once a month on a Saturday, from 10am-4pm.  Players should be at least Grade Four/Five standard to begin with.

If interested, please get in touch either with Mr Bush at CGS, or directly with Mr Cullimore, Head of Music at Woodroffe School – his email address and further details can be found here.


the competition poster

At the end of the summer term, students were asked to take a photo of themselves reading in an unusual place. The winner of the book prize was Sylvie H in 9A, pictured here reading at the top of Snowdon in August.


The school’s 40-strong Chamber Choir travelled to Gloucester on Monday 9 September, to take part in the Evensong service at the magnificent 15th century cathedral.

The choir included current Sixth Form students as well as some of last year’s school leavers; giving a good opportunity to say farewell to them before they depart for university life.

The choir performed Walmisley’s ‘Magnificat’ and ‘Nunc Dimittis’ and, as their anthem, ‘None Other Lamb’ by modern composer Will Todd. In addition, regular parts of the service involved singing the Responses, by William Smith of Durham, and a Psalm.

The event was part of a three-year cycle the school undertakes, aiming to perform in all the major cathedrals in the Southwest.

Director of Music, Mr David House said, “The cathedral was a very impressive building to sing in, and the whole thing sounded really fantastic in the reverberant acoustics.”

By student reporter, Eleanor W


About a dozen Year 7, 8 & 9 students have been reading the eight books shortlisted to win this year’s Carnegie Medal, awarded by 'Cilip' to the author of ‘an outstanding book for children’.

Colyton’s ‘shadowing group’ has been meeting once a week since April to read and discuss the books.  They then invited a group of Year 6 pupils from Colyton Primary School to a lunchtime ‘voting party’, where the shadowers presented the books and then held a secret ballot to choose their favourite, which was announced at the end of the lunch.

The group’s favourite book, by a huge margin, was ‘Wonder’ by R.J.Palacio, a moving story of a boy suffering from a severe facial abnormality and his struggles to fit in with other children.

The actual winner, announced the next day (19 June) at a prestigious ceremony in London, was ‘Maggot Moon’ by Sally Gardner, an unusual tale of a 15-year-old dyslexic boy living in a violent, dystopian 1950s England.

“Our students thoroughly enjoy reading the shortlisted titles every year and also look forward to presenting them to the primary school children,” said Sue Burns-Price, School Librarian.

“We hope we are doing a little bit to emphasise the importance of reading for pleasure, and maybe we will encourage them to try reading some of the shortlisted titles themselves”, she added.

By student reporter, Eleanor W

On Wednesday 19 June, eight Colyton Grammar School boys went to The King’s School in Ottery to compete in the East Devon Tennis Tournament.

The participants in the East Devon Tennis TournamentExmouth, Sidmouth, Cullompton, Honiton and King’s were the other schools who competed in the event, and who our students came up against throughout the day.

Each player was allocated one of six pools and the winner of each pool went through to knockout stages, together with the two best runner-ups. Joe H in the U13 event qualified first in his pool, winning all of his pool matches and reached the semi-finals of the tournament.

James C and Jonny S also qualified first in their pools in the U15 event, and James then went on to reach the semi-finals of the tournament.

Mr Robinson, Head of Boys’ PE said, “The boys all put great effort into their matches and kept going despite the hot conditions.”

By student reporter, Isabella B
STUDENT LEADERSHIP EVENTYear 11 students participate in one of the army-led exercises

On Wednesday 19 June,  all Year 11 students took part in an all-day ‘Leadership and Team Challenge’ event led by members of the Armed Forces.

The day was focused on developing leadership skills and working well as a team, as well as giving students the chance to see the qualities needed to be a soldier.

The students rotated around different tasks during the day - one involved mimicking the work needed to retrieve a casualty from a minefield, requiring them to work together as a team, but also in competition with the other teams.

Private Paige of the Third Battalion, Parachute Regiment said, “It was fantastic to see the students working so well together, and the good weather made the day even more enjoyable”.

By Eleanor W, student reporter

Forces Children's Trust Mr Gregson, Mr Love, Mr Banks, Mr Bush & Mr Mansfield star in Blackadder Goes Forth

Students have presented a cheque for £2937.37 to the Forces Children’s Trust.

The money was raised throughout the school year from numerous events, which included a non-school uniform day, the selling of wristbands and badges and the grand finale, a talent show for and by students and staff, including a staff performance of Blackadder Goes Forth.

The money raised will go to help children whose mother or father has died, or sustained a life threatening injury while serving in the British Armed Forces.
Fiona Harvey, who coordinates the fundraising, said: “It was a fantastic whole school effort and I am grateful to everyone who contributed to this worthwhile charity.”

By Student Reporters Nicole T and Isabella B


Two Year 9 students have given a presentation at Exeter University to teachers and pupils from other Southwest schools.

Ellie M and Matthew G talked about the use of technology and listened to the seven other schools present their ideas.

The keynote speaker was Laura Colvine, Cloud Strategy Leader for IBM UK, who gave a talk on the future of technology.

Ellie said, “It was really interesting seeing how the other schools had approached their presentations”.

The event was organised by Mr Bedford as part of the South West Academic Trust Gifted and Talented Programme.

By student reporter, Eleanor W


The U16 A and B rounders teams both played The King’s School, Ottery towards the end of May.

They were both successful, with the A team winning 31 to 10 and the B team 30½ to 9.

Head of PE, Miss Shute said, “Both teams played really well – they looked like they had been in training!”

Nicole and Rowan batted superbly, with the opposition having to put all their players into the deep field to cope with the power of their strikes.

“They were on fire”, according to one of their team-mates at half time.

This was the first match of the season and a great result.

There were some great rounders, great catches and a lot of shouting!

By Student Reporter Nicole T

CGS Girls' U18 Tennis TeamU18 TENNIS SUCCESS

Congratulations to the Girls’ U18 tennis team for beating Talbot Heath School from Bournemouth in the Aegon tennis competition.

The matches took place on Friday 24 May at Seaton Tennis Club.

They now have a place in the National Finals on 9-12 July in Sheffield.

Lara G
Emma H
Bella B
Nicole T




Children in Years 3 and 4 from several Axe Valley Primary Schools took part in a mini-tennis league here before half term.

Over the course of five weeks, the budding Andy Murrays and Laura Robsons were introduced to this fun mini game where they competed in a series of tennis challenges and matches.

The event was run by Colyton Grammar School’s student Sports Leaders, co-ordinated by Mrs Anne Harris.

All Saints, Colyton, Kilmington, Seaton and Shute Primary Schools took part, with Colyton collecting the most points to become overall winners.

Colyton and Shute, who were runners-up, will represent the Axe Valley area at the East Devon mini-tennis tournament next month.


Year 11 students Isabella B and Emma H have recently been narrowly beaten in the final of the Devon Senior County Doubles competition.

The girls were successful in the semi-finals, beating their County-ranked opponents 3-6, 6-2 and 10-6 in the championship tiebreak.

However, in the finals they had to play two senior players, going down 6-3, 6-3.

Isabella said: “We were really pleased that we got to the final and I thought we gave our opponents a good match, even though we were not expected to win”.

By Student Reporter Nicole T


A team from Colyton Grammar School travelled to Uffculme School on Thursday 16 May, to play in the Year 9 East Devon Rounders tournament.

The team started well with a win against Honiton and then had a close game versus Uffculme, where they could only manage a draw. The final game of the round was against Axe Valley and they won this convincingly. They managed to get the whole team out before the full 21 good balls had been bowled.

The semi-final was against Exmouth and the girls put in some practice before the game. They tried to improve the consistency of their batting and developed the speed of the bowler, backstop and 1st post triangle play. This seemed to make a difference as they appeared a lot sharper and more focused in this knock-out game.

Colyton pulled off an excellent win with some accurate and hard hitting from Evie J and Holly L.

The final saw them against the King’s School and Colyton left their best fielding to this game. There was some quick throwing between the posts and some tactical fielding that prevented the King’s girls scoring full rounders. Rachel I-J made a reaction catch at backstop early in the game, which helped to drive the team on. Ellie M did have a head rush though on her first bat and did a suicide run to second post early in the game!  This was very out of character but it made her team-mates concentrate even more. Colyton kept things tight in the field and maintained their strong batting and won the game with a 5 rounder margin.

v Honiton       Won 9.5 – 4
v Uffculme     Drew 5.5 – 5.5
v Axe Valley  Won 12.5 – 0
v Exmouth     Won 10.5 – 4.5
v King’s          Won 7.5 – 2.5

Colyton have now qualified for the Devon School Games at Exeter University on Friday 28 June.

Squad: Natasha B, Rachel I-J, Maya K-S, Holly L, Gina T, Ellie M (capt), Katie J, Jess O, Sarah U, Mia S and Evie J.


Former Colyton Grammar School student Liberty Brown, from Budleigh Salterton, who is now studying at the University of Durham, has won two prestigious scholarships to study Chinese in Taiwan and Shanghai this summer.

The ‘Huaya Enrichment Scholarship Program’ in Taiwan provides a two month stay, when Liberty will live with a Taiwanese family and attend the Mandarin Training Centre based at Taiwan Normal University in Taiwan City.

The second scholarship is a programme managed by the University of Manchester and based at Fudan University in Shanghai, which features activities to develop language skills and knowledge about the economics, arts and history of China.

Liberty (19) said, “I am really looking forward to being in China and Taiwan, not only to improve my language skills, but to get a real feeling for Chinese culture.”


Despite the difficult weather conditions, four teams from the school successfully completed the 2013 Ten Tors Challenge, at distances of 35, 45 (two teams) and 55 miles. More details will follow in the end of term Parents' Newsletter.

Megan H walked with East Devon Explorer Scouts and was the first girl to finish the 45 mile event.
Flo W walked with Dorset & Wiltshire ATC 45 miles.
James W walked with ATC 299 Squadron and completed the 35 miles.

Year 9 students at the second round of the Mock Trial CompetitionSTUDENTS TAKE PART IN MOCK TRIAL COMPETITION

On Saturday 18 May, the following Year 9 students took part in the Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition - Megan S, Kate R, Will N, Sarah U, Jonty EH, Emily D, Adam W, Ellie M, Alfie H, Rosie L, Tom O, Holly L, Molly S, Indea H, Georgia S and Max M.

This was the second round of this year’s junior Mock Trial, and the team performed very confidently after months of preparation. Unfortunately they were not successful this time around, but they have all learnt a lot and come together as a team.



A Year 12 student at Colyton Grammar School, Luke VDB (17), has received a runners-up prize in the Christopher Tower Poetry Competition 2013 with his poem ‘Research’.

This is the second year that Luke has featured in the final stages of the competition; last year he was on the ‘long-list’ of contenders but just missed out on a prize.

The competition is in its thirteenth year and is one of the most prestigious poetry prizes for under 18s in the UK: 614 students entered, representing 322 schools.

Luke, who lives in Chard, was invited to Christ Church College, Oxford, where he was photographed and interviewed in the dining hall, which is used in the hit series of Harry Potter films, to accept the award, along with the other prize-winners.

Luke, the only male in the final 6, received a significant cash prize for his poem.

He said the experience was ‘surreal’, adding that it was “a really good day”.

Eleanor W, Student Reporter


Alex H, from Axminster, who is in his final year at Colyton Grammar School, reached the top eight of a National Poetry Recital competition ‘Poetry by Heart’, with the finals held at the National Portrait Gallery at the end of April. 

He reached the semi-finals after qualifying as the Devon champion and competed against other county finalists from the South West region.

The standard in this heat was incredible, but Alex emerged as SW champion after his powerful delivery of an extract from Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ and Larkin's ‘Mr Bleaney’.

The regional winners then competed against each other, and although Alex did not win, his performance of ‘Mr Bleaney’ was highly commended by judge and former Poet Laureate, Sir Andrew Motion. 

The standard from all those involved was remarkable, and the competition has done much to raise the profile of, and enthusiasm for poetry among young people.

Alex was delighted to receive an iPad mini and collections of poetry as part of his prize, as well as the all-expenses paid trip to London.


English teachers are delighted by the enthusiasm of Year 7 students who have taken part in a readathon to raise money for three very worthwhile children's charities.

The students had two weeks to read books of their choice and received sponsorship from friends and family for the following causes:

CLIC Sargent
Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity

Special thanks and congratulations must go to Emily M in 7C who raised an amazing total of £212.

Some of the Year 7 students with their cheque for charity

Well done and thank you everyone!

Y7 STUDENTS MEET CHILDREN'S AUTHORYear 7 students pictured with Chris Bradford

Tue 7 May: Year 7 students visited Exmouth Community College,along with several other East Devon schools, to watch a presentation by popular children's author, Chris Bradford, based on his newly released book 'Bodyguard'. The event was followed by a book signing.

Click here to see the Bodyguard cake which was provided by the library staff at Exmouth.




Sat 4 May:. Many thanks to all those parents and students who helped out on the day, for all the many kind donations and, of course, to those who attended and supported on the day. The event was an enormous success and we were able to raise over £6,300 for the School.

Many thanks for your support!

Jane Welch
PA Secretary


Mon 25 March: The new German work experience for Sixth Formers got off to a good start last week, with an evening for parents and students to discuss key issues on the following Tuesday.

All students taking part now have their partners in and around our exchange school, the Gymnasium Eckental near Nüremberg in Bavaria. They are busy getting in touch by email, on Facebook and even via the good old fashioned postal service. We posted off a class parcel on Friday with lots of information about our area and our Easter greetings!

Now we come to the exciting part as work placements are found and we look forward to our trip in July. The majority of students will work in a German primary school for a week. We will be travelling out to Germany on Friday 5th July and returning to England with our exchange partners on Saturday 13th, so they can spend a week in Devon, going home on Sunday 21st July. Many of our participants have been to Bavaria with us before, but for some it is their first time.

Our students are paving the way, we hope, for many Sixth Formers to come!

Fri 15 March: Donations for non-uniform 'wearing something red' day raised £642.11

Thu 28 March:
Teacher Karaoke raised £250.50

Making a grand total of £892.61 raised for Comic Relief.

Thank you everyone!



Thursday 18 April 2013: An event called 'Colyton Goes Forth', raised money for our school charity, The Forces’ Children’s Trust.  Many students and staff took part, starting with a medley of songs from Les Miserables, directed by Year 13 student Tom Hunt.  This was be followed by a variety of acts, including song, dance and poetry readings, before the evening concluded with a splendid performance of Blackadder, starring some very brave Colyton staff - Mr Banks, Mr Bush, Mr Gregson, Mr Love and Mr Mansfield. Well done all!

SENIOR CHOIR ANNUAL CONCERT: HANDEL'S 'MESSIAH' Exeter Cathedral, Saturday 20 April 2013

This year, in a first for the school, the Senior Choir's annual spring concert took place in Exeter Cathedral!

The choir of over 170 sang Handel’s great oratorio, Messiah, with a specially assembled orchestra of about 20 semi-professional players and four professional soloists.  We were delighted to welcome back two former students as part of the solo quartet – Daniel Rudge [Baritone - CGS 2006] and Josie Walledge [Soprano – CGS 1990].

Current/Former Choristers - why not join our CGS Choir Facebook group?


Lions International are collecting eyeglasses that are no longer used, for the Lions ‘Recycle for Sight’ campaign.  If you have any at home please send them into school, there is a collection box in the Library. (NO CASES please, we just need the glasses!). You can download a poster here for full details.


In January 2013, Year 11 student Hebe Halstead (16) was elected as UK Youth Parliament Deputy representative for East Devon.

Hebe, from Branscombe, was voted for by her peers across the whole of East Devon, and shares the role with a candidate from Exmouth Community College.

As a member of the Youth Parliament, Hebe will meet with MPs and local Councillors, organise events, run campaigns, make speeches, hold debates and ensure the views of young people are heard.

Hebe said: “I’m really proud and excited to be getting involved in politics that can affect young people in East Devon.”

Her politics teacher, Miss Solomon, added “It is great to see Hebe use her Politics A-Level studies to make an impact in her out-of-school life.”.

By Student Reporters Maddie G & Isabella B


We have enjoyed success in the National Performance Tables published by the Department for Education on 24 January. At the end of Key Stage 4, Colyton has been ranked as the top school in the country.  The school beat the best State and prestigious independent schools to the top spot. This is a particularly strong result as students at Colyton sit all their exams a year early - at the end of Year 10.

"We are very pleased", said headteacher Paul Evans, who was keen to emphasise that Colyton, whilst being a selective school, does not have the most challenging entrance exam. It takes around a third of the candidates who apply to start in Year 7.

"If I'm honest the most able children in any school will do well. The real challenge is to make the next tier down do well too, and that's what I am particularly proud of here. I have staff prepared to go the extra mile and support the pupils to do well."

The advantage of taking GCSEs in Y10 is that students at Colyton spend three years in the Sixth Form.  Most come out with four A-levels, plus General Studies and Critical Thinking. Mr Evans also said that the three-year Sixth Form enabled the school to deliver a "very much broader curriculum, we are not just delivering the specification. We are very conscious about not being an exam factory. By the time students leave the Sixth Form we have encouraged them to become very individual learners. They are encouraged to read around their subjects and very much to go off at tangents".

Here is the GCSE performance table on the BBC Education website.

The school was also ranked as second State mixed school at A-Level, ranked 12th of all State and independent schools in the country. Mr Evans said, “We are very proud of our students’ successes and that they have been able to secure places at highly competitive universities.” 

Last year fifteen Colyton students went to Oxbridge and sixty-nine went to other competitive courses. One student is now studying at Princeton in the USA, and 13 are off to university later, having taken a gap year.

Here is the A-Level performance table on the BBC Education website.

Devon's Secondary Schools League Tables 2013

Department for Education website


Former CGS student, Liberty Brown, is currently in her first year at Durham University studying a four year course in Chinese Studies.  She has applied to win a $10,000 scholarship to allow her to follow an intensive language course arranged by ‘INTO China’ who, with partner universities, provide students with study opportunities at some of China's top educational institutions

She says, "I learn about the culture and history of China as well as the language itself. As a total beginner in Mandarin I am finding the character system and tonal aspect of the language so different to the European languages I have studied.

"Learning Mandarin is challenging but so rewarding. After only a short period of time studying it, I know that I would like to use it in my future career. An intensive language course with INTO China over the summer would be perfect to accelerate my understanding of the language in preparation for the upcoming years.

"With INTO China I would experience the wealth of culture that China has to offer; a culture that is vastly different from the Western society that we know. I would be able to engage in the fascinating customs and traditions of the Chinese people. If given the chance, I would take every opportunity to immerse myself in this exhilarating and colourful country. I want to travel and explore the land and learn more about what it means to be Chinese.

"My course at Durham is certainly enriching and I feel like I am really progressing well, but to be able to build on this and be surrounded by native speakers in the very country that I am spending the next four years studying would be extremely fulfilling and a true privilege."

To help Liberty win this scholarship, please would you 'Like' her Facebook page?

Thank you

FORMER STUDENT AWARDED OBE Cathy is pictured holding her letter from the Cabinet Office

A Colyton Grammar School student from the 1980s has just been awarded an OBE for her services to forensic science, in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

Cathy Turner, who now lives in Wetherby, Yorkshire with her husband and two daughters, attended the school under the name of Boynton and is remembered by a few of the longest serving members of staff.

She went on to gain a degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Bradford and is now a widely respected national consultant in the field of forensic case reviews or ‘cold cases’.

She was born in Costa Rica and moved to Seaton with her mum, dad and sister in 1972, attending Seaton Primary School and then attending CGS from 1977 to 1984.  The family lived at the 'Seaton Hole' end of the beach on Highcliffe Crescent, and she and her sister spent many happy times rock-pooling and beach combing.

Cathy remembers that she “loved being a pupil at Colyton”, where she particularly enjoyed taking part in musical events.


During four weeks in November and December 2012, students from 10 Ash tutor group organised a collection of over 1,000 items of food for the Exeter Foodbank charity.

Physics teacher Mrs Fitzhenry’s 2009 tutor group first started collecting donations for the Foodbank, and since then other groups from Ash House have taken up the challenge.

The Foodbank provides emergency supplies to disadvantaged families and individuals living in the Exeter area, supporting those who are “one bill away from disaster”, explained Mrs Fitzhenry.  She said that working for the Foodbank each year had created “a real sense of unity” within tutor groups, allowing students to get actively involved in working for the charity.

Exeter Foodbank is part of a network of over two hundred foodbanks across the UK.  Non-perishable foods such as UHT milk, cereals, and pasta are collected, stored and sorted by volunteers and people in need are issued with vouchers for which they are given a three-day supply.

Amy Elford in Year 10, stressed how she feels it is “important to support everyone”, and donating to the Foodbank is one small way that students in the school can help people who are struggling.

A drawing by 19-year-old Melissa Freemantle from Colyton, who left Colyton Grammar School this summer, has been selected for exhibition at the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) annual show in London, from 6-17 March 2013. You can view Melissa's drawing here.

Sidmouth Decorative & Fine Arts Society (DFAS) submitted the work for the RBA's consideration. This year 52 societies submitted over 465 art works from 87 schools, so the RBA had even more of a challenge than usual.

See all the selected works here

Melissa is currently following an Art Foundation course at University College Falmouth.

news from 2012 . . . .

Mon 17 Dec at 12.30pm: The Chamber Choir gave an informal lunchtime recital as part of the Friends of Axmouth Church 'Christmas Tree Festival' week. Download poster here.

Sat 15 Dec: The annual Parents' Association's Festive Evening is a long standing annual event at Colyton, much enjoyed by all and generously hosted by Mr House. The evening is a cabaret style event with a festive feel and a variety of performances from the students; there is even a visit from Father Christmas himself! This year's event was, as usual, a sell-out and a fine festive time was had by all!

Fri 23 Nov 2012 at 7pm: This date was close to St. Cecilia’s Day, appropriately as she is the patron saint of music. There were performers from every year group in the school, as part of these ensembles:

Orchestra / Jazz Band / Junior Jazz / Chamber Choir / String Ensemble
Jazz Choir / Junior Choir / Chamber Ensemble / Flute Group

Thu 8 Nov 2012: The school library was given a complete makeover during the summer holiday and now boasts an entirely new layout, including individual study carrel desks – much welcomed by 6th Form students; enhanced IT facilities and a new small meeting/tutorial room complete with interactive whiteboard – known as the ‘Library Pod’.  The Pod is also used for careers interviews and as a base by student librarians and reading clubs. There is also a new informal reading area which is proving a huge hit with students at break times.

The new look library

Informal reading area

The library moved to its purpose built premises in 1996, and this is the first time since then that any major refurbishment work has taken place.  The focus of the opening was on celebrating the contribution volunteer parent helpers make to the school library.  Since 1993, there has been a total of 97 volunteers who typically give up their time for 2 or 3 hours each week, to help out with issuing, returning and shelving books.  One volunteer – Mr Nigel Harding, from Axmouth – has been helping on a Friday morning for almost 18 years, and was invited to officially open the new-look facility.

Nigel Harding cuts the ribbon at the official opening, alongside Vice-Chair of School Governors, Fiona Wilkinson

School Librarian, Mrs Burns-Price, pictured centre with volunteer parent helpers past and present

Thursday 16 August: Students are celebrating excellent A level results at Colyton Grammar School with 17 students achieving three or more top A* grades.  90% of the grades awarded were between A* and B with thirteen students accepted to Oxbridge, six to medical schools and two to read dentistry. 

Paul Evans, Headteacher said, “95% of the year group have already been accepted on the country’s most competitive university courses, but with the introduction of higher tuition fees, other students have been waiting to see their results before making a commitment to university.  Some very high achieving students have already made the decision to take other routes.

It’s always gratifying to see students reach their potential and I’d like to thank staff for the hard work they have put in to help students who are to be congratulated on their achievements.”

Wednesday 11 July 2012: The weather finally held and 180 runners of all ages took part in the inaugural Rebel Run 5K and 10K races, including several CGS students and staff. Former student Liam Roberts finished second in the 10k race!

Well done to all who took part and thank you to everyone who helped with the planning and on the day. Here's to next year!

Further details and results are on the PA website.

Various photos of the Rebel Run

Tuesday 3 July: The Year 11 History Ambassadors buried a time capsule at lunchtime in the quad next to the Drama Studio.

The project was led by Sally Ann Macefield and Milly Gigg, who said that their aim was to celebrate the two historic events of 2012 -  the London Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Students from across the school contributed items to the time capsule, which will remain buried for the next 60 years. Full report in the end of term parents' newsletter.


  • Monday, 11 June: Colyton’s Art Dept held an Olympic Legacy Art day with 'Artist in Residence' Tony Minnion, working with 11 of our Year 8 students and 12 Year 5/6 pupils from Axe Valley primary schools. Using the London 2012 Olympics as a theme, the students worked to create some large, original designs which have been made into two banners that will be displayed to celebrate the school's 'Olympic Week' and will spend time in each of the primary schools over the next year.
  • Thursday 14 June: A Year 6 cross-curricular (Maths/Science/PE) Olympic-inspired day . Ten primary schools attended during the course of the day, to find out more about energy levels in food and the energy levels we require when exercising.
  • Year 11 Design and Technology students made their own Olympic style torch which has taken part in a torch relay around the Axe Valley area primary schools.  The torch was designed with assistance from 'Peco' in Beer and three Colyton students and two teachers spent time there, learning how to engrave the torch handle with the names of all the schools involved using a special laser cutting machine. The seven Olympic and Paralympic values have also been engraved on the handle. These are: Courage; Determination; Equality; Excellence; Friendship; Inspiration & Respect.

    The CGS torch with its makers
  • Monday 18 June 9.15am: The celebratory school torch left on its first leg of the ‘Axe Valley Learning Community Torch Relay’.  An assembly was held on the front lawn to see it leave with the Year 12 Sports Leaders and Mrs Harris (Axe Valley Sports Co-ordinator).
  • During the week the torch travelled from Beer Primary to Seaton, Musbury, Kilmington, Shute and Colyton Primary Schools.

    The CGS torch showing some of the engravings
  • Friday 22 June 2pm: Colyton Primary School pupils and the Mayor of Colyton returned the torch to school after its trip around the Axe Valley.  They were welcomed, received some refreshments and were entertained with a stunning dance and gymnastics display.
  • On the same day a real Olympic torch from the 1948 games was on display during the school lunchtime.  This is part of a torch relay re-enactment by sailing clubs from across Devon and Dorset, and the Axe Yacht Club took the opportunity to promote the sport of sailing to the students.  
  • Monday 25 June 9am: CGS Olympic Week Opening Ceremony.
  • Tuesday 26 June 1pm: Sports Day and the ‘Olympic Torch Kiss’ - with a real Olympic torch brought into school by official 2012 torchbearer, Emma McLean, a Year 13 student at CGS (see article below)

    The two torches re-enact the 'Olympic Kiss' at the start of Sports Day
  • All week – Science Inter-House fitness testing competition; PE Inter-House 2012 metre relay competition and ‘Ultimate Frisbee’ workshops, Library book display and Take 5 canteen served food from the 5 continents represented on the Olympic Rings!
  • Sunday 8 July 5pm: Members of the Senior Choir took part in a Cultural Olympiad event - combined East Devon/West Dorset schools' choir - Coastal Voices - World Premiere performance of ‘On Golden Cap’ at The Lighthouse Centre for the Arts, Poole - Main Concert Hall. Ticketed event telephone: 0844 406 8666 or book online
  • Friday 27 July 4.30-4.50pm: Members of the Senior Choir take part in a Cultural Olympiad event in the lead up to the 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. Combined East Devon/West Dorset schools' choir perform 'On Golden Cap' plus three other 'Coastal Voices' commissions. Weymouth Beach Live Site, Main Stage. Non-ticketed event.

  • Senior Choir in rehearsal with composer John K Miles

Sunday 20 May 2012: Congratulations to Emma McLean in Year 13 who carried the Olympic Torch through Exeter as part of the Olympic Torch Relay.

Saturday 5 May 2012: Year 9 students once again emerged victorious in the Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition, when they won the South Coast Regional Final at Southampton Magistrates' Court.

Well done to everyone involved!

Have you rated your child's school on Parent View?

Mon 25 June: The Music Department's annual Summer concert was held in the Cottrill Hall.  A variety of music from different ensembles in the school was on offer.


Tue 17 April 2012: One hundred strong Senior Choir sang the service of Evensong at Exeter Cathedral.


Tue 27 March 2012: The school was successfully re-awarded the Eco-Schools 'Green Flag' today.  Eco-Schools is an international award programme that guides schools on their sustainable journey, providing a framework to help embed these principles into the heart of school life.

Full details can be found on the Eco-Schools website .

Sun 25 March 2012: Sell out performance with over 180 participants in the Junior and Senior choirs.

Fri 23 March 2012: Most of the school population took part in this sponsored event for the Sport Relief charity.

Thu 8 March 2012: The 6th Form students pictured below recently helped Mr Robinson to officiate and run the East Devon & Exeter Rugby 7s competition held at Blundell's School, Tiverton.

They did a fantastic job throughout the day, drawing quite a bit of praise from attending school staff.

Pictured: Jack C; Ben W; James D; Oliver B; Lisanne K; Austin W-B - Referees/organiser

Fri 2 March 2012: Subject to confirmation of our evidence, the school should soon be the proud holder of a Guinness World Record™.  Thank you to everyone for the superb effort put into all the outfits.  The atmosphere in school was absolutely buzzing and the classrooms looked so colourful with all the students and staff in a variety of very creative costumes. 

Student librarians pictured with the three independent witnesses to the attempt
Headteacher Mr Evans can be seen in the background dressed as Professor Dumbledore

Tue 28 Feb 2012: Many congratulations to Hywel Carver (and the rest of the UCL team) who have reached the semi-finals of University Challenge after beating Balliol College, Oxford (235 - 145) in last night's programme.

Two students have made it to the second round of the British Biology Olympiad.

Jake Norman from Axminster and Jamie Wells from Branscombe, both in Year 13, managed to achieve Gold in Round 1 of the Olympiad which is open to all UK students aged 16 and over. A number of other Colyton students were also commended for their performance.

The competition aims to challenge and stimulate gifted students with an interest in Biology, encouraging them to continue their study of the subject beyond A-Level.

Jake and Jamie will have to take a written paper in school later on this month and the Olympiad final, which involves both a written and practical exam, is due to take place at the University of Birmingham in April.

Head of Biology, Mr Smith, said he was very pleased with their success so far.

Jake said: “I was very happy to have achieved a Gold award and I’m really looking forward to the next round.”

Beckie Rutherford, Student Reporter

Wed 8 Feb 2012: Cardiff finals success for Coly girls - Midweek Herald



Wednesday 14 December 2011
St Andrew's Church, Colyton
2.30pm & 7.30pm

As usual, there will be two Carol Services on the same day.  Students attend an afternoon service within the school day. The service for staff, Governors, parents, friends and former students will commence at 7.30pm, and all are warmly invited to attend this event which is one of the highlights of the school year.

Cottrill Hall, Saturday 10 December 2011

The school's traditional end-of-term celebration!  Aimed mainly, but not exclusively, at Year 7 and 8 students and their families, this evening has a Christmas theme with even a visit from Father Christmas himself.

It is a cabaret style evening with performances of music, singing and skits from the students. This is also the venue for the annual Grand Winter Draw.

The Parents' Association

Tuesday 29 November 2011 at 7.00pm
Our annual Autumn Concert will be held on the above date in the Cottrill Hall at the school. The students performing in this concert are drawn from every year group in the school. It is always a terrific opportunity to hear the different school ensembles:


As this makes it closer to Christmas we are performing 'The Snowman' by Howard Blake – with the full score and narration involving the Orchestra, Junior Choir and narrator.  We thought that this would be ideal for younger children and as a result will be starting the concert at 7pm.  

This is one of the major concerts of the school year and regularly fills the hall.  We do hope parents will be able to support this event and bring along family and friends.  Please buy tickets in advance on ParentPay so that we can make the necessary arrangements regarding seating and refreshments.

Adults £5, Children £1 - payment can be made on the door.

The Chamber Choir presents 'An hour of music on Advent Sunday' in St. Gregory’s Church, Seaton at 6.30pm on Sunday 27 November 2011.  All welcome - entry free.

Students staged performances of The Comedy of Errors on Monday 21, Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 November 2011, in the Cottrill Hall at 7pm.  

The Comedy of Errors is Shakespeare’s shortest play and one of his funniest.  As the title suggests, the comedy arises from a series of ‘errors’, or cases of mistaken identity, due to there being two sets of identical twins who were separated soon after birth and now find themselves in the same town, unbeknownst to their opposite numbers. Just to add to the confusion, each master and servant share the same name and, of course, are dressed in identical costumes.

Having a real set of identical twins has resulted in the need to provide the audience with a small clue as to which is which in order to make the plot clear - current Sixth Formers George and Louis B play the parts of Antipholus.

Although the play has all the elements of farce, including much slapstick humour, there are some poignant moments. The themes of separation and loss, followed eventually by joyful reunion, provide a more serious note to the otherwise riotous stage action.

The composer John Miles will be worked with the Senior Choir in a lunchtime workshop on Friday 11 November 2011, in preparation for a new choral composition which will receive its World Premiere at the annual Choral Concert in March 2012.

Year 9 GCSE Music students are presenting a concert on the evening of Friday November 11 2011, at Hawkchurch in aid of the Tower Fund.  The programme will contain solos and ensemble items from Handel to Jazz.
Tickets can be bought from the school library at £7.50 for adults, children free - or pay on the door.


On Thursday 13 and Friday 14 October, children from 11 Axe Valley primary schools attended a Key Stage One Multiskills Sports Festival in the school Sports Centre.

The festival, run by our Year 12 Sports Leaders, was attended by 280 children aged 4-7 years.

[Photos by Tom Lewis]

The children were all from schools in the Axe Valley learning community and the aim of the event was to develop their agility, balance and co-ordination.

It was a great event and everyone had lots of fun!

By 6th Form Reporter, Hannah B

Tue 18 & Wed 19 October 2011
Cottrill Hall 7pm
Students at Colyton Grammar school are putting on a production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Directed by Year 12 Drama students Alex H and Andrew C, the musical follows one man’s descent into madness at the hands of a corrupt society.

The production is student-run, with members of Years 10, 11 and 12 taking on all the roles associated with the performance, including sound, lighting and publicity.

The musical is supported by a live band and refreshments are being provided by the school’s ‘Young Enterprise’ team.

Director Alex H said: “Sweeney Todd has been a really interesting project to take part in, there is a great cast and it promises to be a fantastic evening for all.”.

Tickets are just £6 for adults and £4 for students/children and are available from the school library, or by e-mailing where you can reserve them to collect and pay on the night.

So, come along for a great show!

Olivia M, Student reporter

From Tue 4 to Fri 7 October 2011, students spent their lunchtimes busking in the playground to raise money for Honeylands Children’s Centre in Exeter.

The fundraising event was called ‘Busk-it Week’ and was organised by the tutor group 9 Ash.  Students from across the school took part, with performances ranging from instrumental groups to solo singers.

Izzie from 9 Ash said: “My mum is one of the music therapists at Honeylands and we wanted to support their worthwhile cause.  I was surprised but really pleased at how many people took part”.

Honeylands Children’s Centre is an NHS Centre for young children with complex special needs, which offers a unique service to families from the Exeter, East and Mid Devon areas. In total the students managed to raise £117.84 for the charity.

Becky R
Student Reporter

Rosie Jones , originally from Sidmouth, has made her screen debut in the second series of the popular period drama, Downton Abbey.  On Sunday 18th September, she appeared in the first episode of the much anticipated new series.

Since leaving the school in 2005, Rosie has completed a three year course at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), before spending six months studying at Oxford.  Since then she has appeared in several theatre productions, most recently as Trixie in ‘Daisy Pulls It Off’.

Whilst she was at Colyton, Rosie set up a Year 7 drama club and is hoping to return to the school soon to run a workshop for younger students.

Mrs Harvey, Rosie’s former English teacher, said “Rosie’s love and enthusiasm for drama was apparent as soon as she arrived at the school.  She is a great example of a student who worked hard and was determined to succeed - we are all very proud”.

Beckie Rutherford, Student Reporter


Four Year 11 students have had their short video about why politics matters published on the website of Tim Loughton MP, who is the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families


Nowhere Island
Year 8 student, Frank Hartley, from Luppitt, Nr Honiton, set off on an expedition with his father on Sunday 11 September 2011, to transport an island from the Arctic to Weymouth Harbour.

Nowhereisland is an 'Artists Taking the Lead' project for Southwest England, part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and is funded by the Arts Council of England.  Mr Alex Hartley, an artist and explorer, discovered the island - since named ‘Nowhere Island’ - in 2004.  Once back here the island will be remade into a 40m floating sculpture which will be taken to Weymouth Harbour in time for the Olympic sailing events and will then be towed around the Southwest coast, calling at various ports and harbours during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Frank, 12, is keen to raise awareness of the project in school, as there is an educational aspect to the massive piece of art and he is eager to get everyone involved.

Frank was visibly excited about the project, saying that it would be “fun but cold!”  He also admitted that while he was looking forward to it, he would “miss his friends quite a bit”, and that he has promised his teachers that he would take his school work with him.

Ciara D, student reporter

Message from Frank, Friday 23 Sept 2011 . . .

Dear Everyone at School,

As you may have heard on the news things are going well here in the Arctic.

I am part of the expedition team to Svalbard, up here on the last bit of land before the North Pole, to declare a new country called Nowhereisland.  This is all part of my dad's art project for the Olympics 2012.  On Tuesday, we sailed into International Waters in a boat full of 'territory' that we had dug up from a small island that had been revealed by a retreating glacier that my dad first discovered in 2004.  This is the territory that he will bring back to Devon and turn into a sculpture of an island that will be travelling in the sea around the entire southwest peninsular.  Its journey starts at Weymouth for the sailing Olympics.

The boat we are on is called the Noordelicht and it's a 125ft long sailing schooner, over a hundred years old.  I went up in the crows nest - it's very high.  Yesterday I went for a swim in freezing glacier water - it was so cold!

We have seen polar bears - really close and our armed guide had to fire warning shots to scare it away.  Also lots of seals and two whales.

I've taken lots of pictures of Fraggle in the Arctic.  Bit weird walking around with it.

I'll be back next week.

Frank (8C)

PS Look at the website for pictures and lots of other stuff

About the project:



During the summer holiday, Head of Science and Chemistry teacher, Mr Owen Mansfield, cycled 800 miles from his home in South Brent, Devon to Fort William in Scotland to raise money for the Children's Hospice South West.

On his way he also climbed the three highest peaks in mainland UK - Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis.

So far he has raised about £2,000, but his aim is to make that at least £5,000.
Please make a donation by visiting his 'Just Giving' page here:

Thank you and well done Mr Mansfield!


A Royal Society funded project
Life in the Vines is an exciting new collaboration between the University of Exeter's Biosciences department, Colyton Grammar School, and Silverton Vineyard, funded by the Royal Society.

Students will be researching the biodiversity of local vineyards and making an important contribution to preserving species in the countryside where they live.

Find out more about the Life in the Vines project



Congratulations to the Year 9 Magistrates' Court Mock Trial team, who won the Regional Final at Southampton Magistrates' Court on Saturday 14 May 2011.

They now progress to the NATIONAL FINAL in Birmingham on 18 June.  WELL DONE!

The winning team


Saturday 11 June 2011

Over £2,000 was raised at the charity auction in aid of Colyton Grammar School’s link school in Ethiopia.

Auctioneer Graham Barton, from the BBC’s 'Homes Under the Hammer' programme, hosted the evening and did a fantastic job, not just at encouraging the bidding, but also entertaining the audience.

Local businesses and individuals had been incredibly generous in offering items and services, and the money raised will enable us to build a new classroom and toilet block at the partner school.

A huge thanks to everyone who helped with the evening, and to those people who attended the event and donated money.

This is a quilt made and sent to us by students at Fasilides Secondary, Ethiopia



Selected students from Year 8 have been attending a ‘Flock Club’ to decorate life-size models of a sheep and lamb, which have taken their place as part of a large 'Flock' at Exeter Cathedral.

The sheep - all 170 of them - have been 'painted' by children from primary and secondary schools in Devon, and are there to celebrate the official reopening of phase one of the Cathedral Green's major re-vamp.

The outdoor exhibition formally opened on Friday 13 May at 12 noon.  The official re-opening of the Cathedral Green took place shortly afterwards.  The sheep were out on the Green on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 13, 14 and 15 and inside the Cathedral from 16-24 May.

Colyton's decoration is inspired by Friedensreich Hunderwasser, a German artist and architect from the 1900s.  His work most commonly consists of bright contrasting colours, common objects, patterns and busy scenes to represent life as he understood it and saw it.

Work in progress

The completed models

'Our' sheep and lamb in situ

Some more of the flock

This is a prestigious event for the Cathedral, Exeter City and Devon County Council, and we feel very excited and privileged to have our sheep playing a part in such an impressive event!

You will need to book a visit with Exeter Cathedral at the following email address:, or by telephone on 01392 285938.  There will be no charge for schools involved with the project to visit.

The sheep will hopefully return to us on Tuesday 25 May, to then be further exhibited in the school grounds.

We look forward to hearing what you think!

Miss Moir and the Year 8 Flock Team


     19, 20, 21 May 2011

Colyton’s ‘Science Outreach Team’ helped out at the Devon County Show this year.

They were part of the ' Exeter City of Science stand, very close to the main arena.

Visitors to their stand had the opportunity to see gravity defying water, a balloon kebab and 'build your own planet' (not to scale !).


Sat 15 - Sun 16 May

Congratulations to all of this year's participating teams!

Year 10 35-mile team receiving their medals

Year 12 45-mile team receiving their medals

Year 12 combined Colyton-Isca 45-mile team before setting off

Year 13 combined Colyton-Teign-Woodroffe-Fraggle
55-mile team before setting off


Saturday 7th May 2011

Cressida & Miss Bell in the stocks
Archery taking place in the background

One of several plant stalls

The very popular cake stall inside the 'Flowerpot Cafe'

Craft Stalls

Queuing for the BBQ



Earlier in the year Head of Art, Miss North, was invited to attend the prestigious Mall Galleries in London, for the Royal Society of British Artists' (RBA) annual exhibition.

She had gone to see ex-student, Natalie Holt's painting, 'Enlightenment' (pictured below), one of twenty pieces selected from schools across the UK to be exhibited alongside the professional artists in the RBA 2011 annual exhibition.

It was chosen by NADFAS (National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies) representatives, having been spotted at the Colyton art exhibition show in 2010.

For the duration of the exhibition the twenty finalists, Natalie included, were given the privilege of being titled 'RBA Scholar'.

Miss North expressed her excitement at Natalie's success: “It was fantastic to see our students’ work acknowledged so publicly.”

Hannah B, Year 11 Junior Reporter

Wednesday 27 April at 7.30pm

There is a long-standing tradition now of the Orchestra accompanying Y13 students in concerto performances and this year it included Clare M playing Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending and Kathryn H playing the second movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23.  The programme also featured other solo performances by students in Year 13.

The Orchestra played works by Bizet and Elgar. There were performances from Chamber Music groups and other instrumental ensembles.


7.30pm Sun 27 March 2011

One of the biggest musical events of the year took place at the end of the month in the Cottrill Hall.  Featuring over 120 singers from the Junior, Senior and Chamber Choirs, it was an exciting, enthralling and energetic performance.

The senior choir and orchestra during the first half of the programme

The music on offer varied from arrangements of American Spirituals, to a mass setting by Haydn and the wonderful new choral work, ZIMBE!, by Alexander L’Estrange.  This is a collection of African songs set for choir with a jazz band accompaniment.  It is truly infectious and rehearsals have ended with singers dancing out of the room!

The Senior Choir singing Zimbe

The Junior Choir

To top it all, for the the second year in a row, the composer himself was present, accompanying on the piano [last year we welcomed Will Todd for ‘Mass in Blue’].

The Choir with Mr House (Director of Music) and the composer Alexander L'Estrange

[Photos courtesy of Alan Jones]

David House
Director of Music

Students in 10 Ash have recently collected over 600kg of food in aid of the Exeter Foodbank .

At the beginning of December 2010, they launched their campaign for the second year running and encouraged staff, students and parents to get involved by donating everyday food items.

Pete Scott, a representative from the foodbank, thanked the students for their support and enthusiasm - describing their campaign as a “brilliant team effort”.

10 Ash Tutor Group with the food items they collected

2010 was a busy year for the Exeter Foodbank.  During December around ¼ of a tonne of food was handed out every week at their distribution centre.

There are currently 70 foodbanks within the UK, who aim to support individuals and families in crisis by giving them a minimum of 3 days emergency food supply.  Last year the foodbank network helped 41,000 people and their ultimate aim is to set up a foodbank in every town across the UK.

Beckie R, Student Reporter

Richard Meyrick
Friday 16 September 2011

We are fortunate to be having a visit from Richard Meyrick, a top concert pianist.  He has been involved in a national music project called ‘Piano Man’ giving musical presentations to schools throughout the country.  We are delighted that he is able to include us in his busy itinerary at short notice, to give a masterclass and recital on Friday 16 September.

The presentation and masterclass, for which there will be no charge, is for all pianists at the school and GCSE and AS/A2 level music students, and will take place during school time.

The recital will be at 7pm and we do hope you will be able to attend.  This is open to anyone, with tickets priced at £5 for adults, students free.

I feel that it is very important to be supportive of Richard Meyrick and urge all those involved in the presentation and masterclass sessions to attend the evening concert and hear his superb playing! When he last visited the school he was a real inspiration, both in his teaching and wonderful concert.

Tickets will be available from the school library.

Mr House
Director of Music


Wed 20 July
6-8pm in the school grounds

Stalls and sideshows run by Years 7 to 9
Entertainment by Year 11
Homemade cakes
Book stall
Second-hand uniform
And much more . . . .

We need helpers!
If you can spare some time to help run one of the PA stalls (bookstall, the café, raffle etc) on the night, your help would be much appreciated.  This is a great opportunity for parents of Year 7 and Year 8 students to meet up and help run the PA stalls; in particular we need a number of people who can help organise and run the BBQ.

If you can help please email Jane at:

Donations . . .
Do you have anything suitable at home that you could donate for the following stalls?

- Prizes for the raffle and tombola
- Items for the second-hand school uniform stall
- Books for the second-hand book stall
- Any unwanted gifts or good quality items for the nearly new stall

Please send donations to the school Reception or Library, marked for the Summer Fête, THANK YOU!



Colyton Grammar School’s U18 tennis team have once again qualified for a national tennis final.

In 2009 they reached the finals of the U15 Aegon Schools’ Tennis Competition.  This year they are through to the finals of the Aberdare Cup to be played at Queenswood School in Hertfordshire on Tuesday 5 July 2011.

The team had to win their final home game against previous national qualifiers, Parkstone Grammar School, if they were to secure a place at Queenswood.  Parkstone were a strong side and the standard of tennis played was extremely impressive.

Colyton got off to an excellent start, with both Liberty B and Lara G beating their opposite numbers six games to love. Emma H and Isabel B, not to be outdone by the older girls, also won their singles convincingly.

In the doubles matches Liberty B and Natasha M put on a fine display of how to play doubles.  Dominating the net and rallying with power and constistency, they won in straight sets.

The team

Lara G was partnered by Emma H and they were also a formidable pairing, only dropping two games throughout the match.

Colyton emerged as winners by six matches to love and a place at the Nationals.  A fantastic achievement from a young team. Well done!


Dr David Whitehouse (BBC Science Correspondent) at 2pm - 'The search for life in space'

Plus professional story teller, Michael O'Leary, will be weaving tales about the moon and celestial beasts.

The event runs from 10am to 4pm.  Children get in FREE, adults cost £5.

More info HERE

If you are free that day it would be lovely if you could come along.  It should all add up to a lot of science related fun that I am sure everyone in the family will enjoy.

Many Thanks

Dr Usher
Science Dept


St Andrew's Church, Colyton
2.30pm & 7.30pm
Thursday 16 December
As usual, there will be two Carol Services on the same day. The Service for Parents, Governors, Friends and old Colytonians will commence at 7.30pm, and all are warmly invited to attend this event, which is one of the highlights of the school year.

The Service for students and staff will be held in the afternoon.  As the church is unable to accommodate the whole school, Years 7, 12 and 13 will attend the church service, and Years 8 to 11 will stay at school for regular afternoon lessons. 

Students attending the Carol Service will be picked up at 3.20pm, either at Govers Meadow or Colyton Square.  Students staying in school for lessons will be collected at their normal pick-up points. This may mean that some students arrive home a little later than usual.

St Cecilia’s Day Concert
Wednesday 17 November 2010
7.30pm Cottrill Hall
Tickets on sale in the school library - payment by cash or cheque only (made payable to Colyton Grammar School).
Tel: 01297 552327
Adults £5 / Children £1

Thursday 14 October 7.00pm
The Institution of Engineering and Technology presents . . .
Can you believe your ears?
How technology has changed music
by Andy Millar

Open to all - entry free

See flyer for further details - Community Lecture

Wednesday 13 October 7.30pm
St. Andrew’s Church, Colyton

Music Staff of Colyton Grammar School are giving a concert in support of the new Music Centre at the school.

• See and hear teachers play solos and ensemble pieces
• Enjoy some interval refreshments
• Marvel at piano music for one hand and organ with only feet!
• Parents can meet the teachers informally
• Help to raise more funds to equip the new Music Centre


Olympics Through the Ages

Monday 19 July
6pm - 8pm in the school grounds
Stalls and sideshows run by students in Years 7-9
Year 11 Entertainment
Homemade cakes
Book stall
. . . and much more


Starts Saturday 19 June 2010
Kennaway House, Sidmouth

All parents, students, staff and Governors are invited to the opening of the art exhibition "Coasts of Many Colours"

The exhibition will be featuring artwork by several of our Year 7 and Year 8 Art Club members - including some wonderful driftwood boats, a pirate and a fisherman.

Some of the work will be auctioned and all money raised will go to partnership schools


7.30pm Wednesday 7 July 2010
“Leading the Way at 40 Below” – Ann Daniels , Polar Explorer

Ann is a record breaking British polar explorer, jointly the first woman to reach both the North and South Poles as part of all women teams, who recently returned from the Catlin Arctic Survey.

Entry is free, but please telephone the school to book a seat on (01297) 552327

7.00pm Wednesday 30 June 2010
Cottrill Hall

The programme will include items from almost all the school musical groups - Orchestra, String Ensemble, Junior Strings, Guitar Chamber Group, Junior Jazz, Jazz Band, Junior Choir and Senior Choir.

Tickets now on sale in school library
Adults   £5
Children/students  Free


Saturday 8 May 2010
10.00am - 4.00pm in the school grounds

The Garden Fair team have some fantastic stalls planned, with expert advice for the garden and some interesting crafts to be purchased.


Musical entertainment, including student buskers
A variety of plant stalls
Craft stalls
All day BBQ
Cake Stall & Cream Teas in the Flower Pot Café
Children’s Area
Tombolas and Raffle

A lovely day out for all the family - so please come along and support this event!



Watch a Mr Bush/Mr Love drama sketch
View an exhibition of staff ‘TALENTS’ including art work (good and bad!), poetry & writing, photography, knitting (by men!), photos of past achievements, and find out about Mr Cummings' incredible secret talent!!! (and no, it's not dancing).

Musical items including songs from last year’s ‘A Winter’s Tale’ production
Y13 drama performance
PLUS >>>>> the much awaited premiere of the charity DVD ‘Sweet Caroline’ featuring the whole school community

Parents - payment can now be made for the DVD which will be available in the next few weeks.  It would be very helpful if you would pre-order a copy (via Parent Pay), so that we know how many copies to produce - £2.99 per copy.

Friday 30 April 2010
7.30pm in the Cottrill Hall
Tickets available on the door or from the school library – cash/cheques only (not ParentPay)
£5 adults      £2 students / Children / OAPs


Prizes include entrance tickets for Woodlands; dry slope skiing; snowboarding
£50 Boden gift voucher; £30 Wagamama voucher; two Odeon tickets; an Escot family day pass and . . .
the 'Star Prize' - a week’s early lunch pass for two ! ! !
Over 100 prizes donated by shops & businesses (not recycled gifts)
Tickets are £1 from the library or buy on the night
So . . . remember to bring in your cash

All proceeds from the evening will go towards sponsoring local resident Geoff Woodward, from Colyton, who is taking part in the Project 65 Forces March undertaking five marathons in five days.  The March starts on 27 May and takes runners from Ilfracome in North Devon to the finish in Bulford, Wiltshire on 31 May.

Thank you in advance for your support.


Sunday, 28 March 2010 
Cottrill Hall 7.30pm

Over 100 students who sing in the Senior and Chamber Choirs at school are currently in rehearsal for a concert at the end of March, showcasing choral music from the last thousand years.

Starting with Plainsong circa the 11th Century, moving through time via Purcell, Taverner and Tippett, the second half of the concert brings us smack up to date with the vibrant jazz work Mass in Blue by Will Todd

Mass in Blue is an upbeat jazz setting of the Latin mass for choir, soprano solo and jazz trio or ensemble. The Mass has been performed more than twenty times since its 2003 premiere and has firmly entered the choral repertoire.  For this performance the composer is coming to East Devon to perform with the school choir, and the soprano soloist will be the former director of the world famous 'Swingle Singers', Joanna Forbes-L’Estrange[02-03-10]


15-18 March 2010
Guess the Team Logo quiz - 30p entry forms on sale in library. Prize: signed Bath rugby ball

Monday 15 March
Teachers' Question of Sport   1.30pm in Cottrill Hall.      50p entry – tickets on sale in library now  

Tuesday 16 March

Jump Rope Display & Double Dutch Challenge 1.30pm in Sports Hall  - 50p entry

Wednesday 17 March   

Netball Courts - Shoot the Hoop Challenge  
Astro Turf - Crossbar Challenge            Both at 1.30pm -  50p entry
Thursday 18 March
Year 11 Community Sports Leadership Award students are organising a sponsored Sport Relief Mile  to take place on the Astro Turf at lunchtime. Two years ago over 440 students and staff entered and raised over £3,600.

7.30pm, Thursday 11 March 2010

Neil Garrick-Maidment FBNA
Executive Director
The Seahorse Trust
Escot Park
, Ottery St Mary

As part of a programme of science based events, the school's Science Department has been providing a programme of talks over the last year, giving the opportunity to meet and discuss topics of current scientific interest with a range of scientists working at the forefront of their subjects.

The Seahorse Trust is a local charity dedicated to research and education into seahorses and marine conservation. The Trust's work on seahorses in Studland Bay in Dorset featured in the BBC Autumnwatch television programme. Neil Garrick-Maidment will introduce us to the work of the Trust. He will tell us something about the ecology of seahorses and the work that the Trust does in tagging seahorses in Studland Bay, in order to improve our understanding of their needs.

The talk is free and open to anyone who is interested.  Parking for the event will be in the front two playgrounds, which are accessed from the Whitwell Lane entrance to the school.  Sixth form students will be on hand to guide visitors to the event, and tea and coffee will be available.


Thursday 4 & Friday 5 March 2010

This week there will be a Book Fair in the school library to mark World Book Day on 4 March.

Books will be mostly teen fiction (11-15 years) and can be paid for by CASH or CHEQUE on the day only.

Student librarians are also running two book related quizzes throughout the week - entry forms from the library.  In addition, a group of students will be visiting Colyton Public Library on Thursday lunchtime to take part in a joint reading event with Colyton Primary School.



On World Book Day, Thursday 4 March 2010, 14 students paid a lunchtime visit to the public library in Colyton, along with 6 pupils from Colyton Primary School. The idea, put forward by 'Librarian in Charge' at Colyton, Helen Redwood, and school Librarian Sue Burns-Price, was for the students to entertain each other with stories they had written and some poetry.

Two of our student librarians, Harvey and Harry, have written the following report:

"On World Book Day, 14 students from Colyton Grammar School visited Colyton library.  Sixth Formers, members of the Year 7 Creative Writing Club and Year 8 student librarians contributed, both as performers and as entertained audience members.  Students from the Creative Writing Club (organised by English teacher Mrs Bean), read out their chilling opening chapters to mystery stories, and the Sixth Formers performed a range of poems and songs by William Blake, including ‘The Tyger’.

Colyton Primary School children had also prepared some fascinating stories to read to us. The stories truly blew us over with funny jokes and good storylines. They ranged from "The Island", a story about two children staying with their uncle who got lost on an island out to sea, to a James Bond styled action story about a man trying to escape from prison. All the poems, songs and stories were amazing, making for an enjoyable afternoon. We are thoroughly looking forward to working with the primary school and the library again."

Colyton library kindly provided the participants with refreshments, including some lovely homebaked cakes, and plans are afoot for another joint event in the summer term.

In addition to this, Colyton Grammar School library held a book fair over four days, selling over £600 worth of books to students and staff.  The student librarians designed two quizzes - a Staff Reading Quiz where students had to match a list of book titles to members of staff, and a 30 minute speed 'Lit Quiz' held at lunchtime.  Book prizes and other goodies were awarded to the winners.



Below is an article by one of our 6th Form students, about a visit made by her to Axminster Primary School with Physics teacher, Dr Sarah Usher, as part of primary outreach work.

Primary outreach is part of the school's work as a Specialist Science College and Dr Usher goes out about once a week to visit primary schools in the Axe Valley, delivering a range of talks.  These are aimed at providing primaries with access to equipment they cannot normally use. She takes a Sixth Former with her each time as a helper.  There are plans for possible visits to Colyton Grammar by primaries for similar reasons, for example to use the blackout possible in the physics labs to do experiments with light etc..

Colyton Grammar School teacher brings friction to local primary school
On the 25th January, I was fortunate enough to accompany physics teacher, Dr Usher, on a visit to Axminster Community Primary School.

During the visit, we taught a workshop on friction to the 35 pupils of Class Six.  Dr Usher began with an introductory PowerPoint on friction and forces, complete with animations and questions.  She then set up a number of experiments around the classroom that involved the students rolling balls down ‘runways’ that had different surfaces - carpet, lino and wood.  The object of this experiment was to demonstrate how friction works and to allow the children to compare results.

After explaining the importance of ‘fair testing’ and units, Dr Usher began a second experiment.  This also investigated friction in relation to a range of materials. The pupils used a Newton meter to measure the force exerted in their experiment and drew up a bar chart of their results.

Limited by time, Dr Usher finished with a short talk on ‘Is Friction useful?’ and encouraged the student to think about where friction was beneficial and when it generated limitations.

The children of Axminster seemed thoroughly to enjoy the morning, one pupil commenting that “It was great to experiment with proper equipment”.

I also enjoyed spending time with the school and helping out Dr Usher with the experiments.  The visit was very productive and I hope that there are many more to come!

Ciara DJ
Junior Reporter

Primary school pupils conducting one of the tests


Saturday 16 January 2010
The Dawe Room, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter

This Saturday, 16th January, Adam W in Year 12 and other Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs) from the Southwest region, will be making a bus collage out of the transport tickets collected in schools and colleges.  This will be filmed for ITV News.

If you want to come and see the collage being put together and want the chance to be on ITV News, come to Devon County Hall in Exeter between 2.30pm and 4.30pm on Saturday.

Adam said "We are using this collage to promote the Youth Parliament's "Get On Board" campaign, which is trying to ensure that 16-18 year olds pay a child's fare on public buses at weekends and throughout the month of August.  On the background of the collage, people will be able to write up their views about public transport.  This will highlight issues that young people have when trying to use public transport in Devon."

Adam is pictured with some of the bus and train tickets he has collected from the school community



Young Enterprise

The School's Young Enterprise Company, 'VERVE', is selling a range of gift items.  

One of these - the 'My Everyday Essentials' bag (AKA the MEE Bag) is featured below.  

It is a product aimed at the ladies and is a make-up bag to go in your handbag,

containing a variety of essentials you might need.  For details of all their products you

can check out the company website here: VERVE!

MEE bags - My Everyday Essentials
£4.99 to include all contents as shown

[Photo Scott Tobin]

Latest news . . . . Verve Win Exeter Trade Fair

Verve made their first proper sales to the public a success during the Young Enterprise Trade Fair, held on Exeter High Street.  Despite the bleak weather during the day, they still managed to make a significant number of sales and also, more importantly, won the Young Enterprise Award for the Best Stall at the trade fair, receiving a glass trophy in recognition!

Members of the company reported many people expressing an interest in their products, especially the home-made signs, which sold particularly well. Overall, it was a successful day for Verve!

BUTTONS WANTED: We urgently need any spare buttons you have lying around!  Any size, colour or shape will do - bring them into school and put them in the box labelled 'Young Enterprise', located in the library.  Any donation will be hugely appreciated, thank you!


Children in Need
Friday 20 November 2009

The school held three fund raising events for Children in Need.  One was ‘University Challenge’ in the Cottrill Hall during lunchtime.  A team of Sixth Form students were pitched into battle against members of staff.  This exciting event was hosted by Mr Bush, who oversaw the sometimes amusing answers as competitors faced a variety of fiendishly difficult questions.  Students enjoyed watching their teachers and friends battle to win the challenge, especially in the intense final 30 seconds - with the staff just pulling off a win.

This is the third year in a row the event has been held and the current score is Sixth Form 2, Staff 1!  Money was raised through charging for admission.

Staff team: Mrs Bean (English); Dr Stanbridge (Head of Chemistry); Mr Smith (Head of Biology); Mr Bedford (PE)
Student team: Tabby B-H; Matthew S; Matira W; Oliver P;
Question Master: Mr Bush (Head of English)
Score keeper: Thomas P

[Photo Scott Tobin]

Sixth Formers also organised a cake stall during 1st and 2nd breaks which, together with the University Challenge, raised £470 and finally, £481 was raised through asking students to donate money for the privilege of wearing non-uniform for the day - making a grand total of £951!

Liberty B (11L)


Year 11 AS Art students were recently given the brief to produce a life-sized human sculpture that was covered from head to toe with newspaper.  We worked in groups of five and were given only 20 minutes to turn one student from our group into a moving sculpture - taking our brief through to end product and evaluation.

Our group decided to design a bride and her dress, however this turned into a ballgown (below left).

This experience helped to show our class how fast we can produce an impressive outcome.

Hayley M (11L)




This enjoyable and very informative day, attended by Year 11 students on Tuesday 7 July 2009, encompassed a superb lecture by Mark Paterson, Education and Post Graduate Research Officer from Australia, and visits to all areas around the site.

Pictures of students at the Eden Project with Mark Paterson

Topics covered throughout the day included aspects of Biodiversity/Conservation; Botany; Business (economic rejuvenation); Ecology; Environmental issues; Ethnobotany; Horticulture; Geography; Land Management/Restoration/Use; Science communication; Sustainable construction/Architecture; Tourism and Leisure.

The sun shone and the ice creams flowed!

R Hendy
General Studies/Science & Technology



This year Ginny G (pictured below) in Year 12 entered the 'Kelvin Science Prize' essay writing competition, which is organised by Cambridge University's Peterhouse College.

[Photo Scott Tobin]

Although not one of the main winners, Ginny's essay was commended by the College and she has been invited to attend the
Peterhouse Open Day on Friday 3 July 2009.  Her essay can be read here: Evolution is the realisation of the pretty improbable

More details about the competition can be found on the Peterhouse College website: Peterhouse Science Prize


These pictures show students with Head of Geography, Mr Stidwell, tree planting
on the Eco Woodland Reserve to mark World Environment Day on 5 June.


[Photos Scott Tobin]

Students have planted a circle of trees symbolic of our small part in the environment of planet earth, with a wishing tree in the centre.



As usual, a group of students from Colyton Grammar School are meeting during the summer term to read all the books shortlisted for this year's Carnegie Children's Book Award.

The Carnegie Medal is awarded each year by a panel of 12 children's librarians, who represent regions across the UK, for an outstanding book for children and young people.  The shortlist was released in April, and the 2009 winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on 25 June 2009.  During the eight weeks between the shortlist being released and the winner being announced, groups of young readers up and down the country will be reading the seven titles on this year's list and choosing their own favourite.  A dedicated website is set up for groups to post their book reviews, this is our area: Colyton Carnegie Shadowing Group

On Wednesday 20 May, the judge for the South West region, Julia Hale, visited the school and talked to the group about the judging process.  It was a fascinating insight into what goes on behind the scenes, and I am sure she inspired the students to read (and maybe even re-read!) each book very carefully, looking at how well the author has crafted the storyline, the characters and the writing style.


Members of the reading group pictured with Carnegie judge Julia Hale

On Thursday 25 June, the group will be taking part in an event in Exeter with several other Devon secondary schools, when each reading group will enact the story of one of the books to the rest of the participants.  Our group will be presenting Airman by Eoin Colfer and they are pictured below in rehearsal with Year 12 A-Level Drama students.


Children's author Bali Rai will be present at this event, and on the same afternoon he will be visiting Colyton to give a lunchtime talk and book signing session in the school library.  This event is open to all students and staff at the school and the six books shown here on Bali's website will be available to buy on the day:  Bali Rai's website

The full shortlist for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2009 can be seen here: Carnegie Medal 2009 Shortlist