• The Ilfracombe Academy

Letter from the Headteacher - Going Live!

Dear Parents and Carers,

An interesting and varied week has been had by all. We’ve had some amazing sporting successes whilst staffing levels have been changing culminating in Year 8 having to engage in remote live lessons from home. Then on Wednesday, we also had a chemical leak at the local holiday park to contend with which meant that we had to keep everyone inside. As ever, the students and staff have taken all of this in their stride and I would like to thank them for their calmness and resilience.

Please see some highlights of this week and other points of interest.

Year 11 & 13 Mock Examinations

Year 11 and 13 mock examinations begin on Monday 14th February 2022 (a full timetable of mock examinations is available on the school website). We would ask all parents and carers to support students’ attendance to all of these important mock examinations.

We have produced pre mock exam guidance documents for all of these mock examinations. These documents are designed to provide a focus for students’ revision. This is a support measure that will be in place for the students’ formal examinations in summer 2022. Mr Twomey wrote a letter to all parents and carers of students in Years 11 and 13 earlier this week. This letter provides additional information on the mock examinations and the guidance documents to support students.

Staff at the Academy are looking forward to working with students to facilitate their success in these upcoming mock examinations. We are excited by our students’ potential and wish them the best of luck in their preparation and during the exams themselves.

More Sporting Success


Year 7

The Year 7 Girls had some incredible results on Tuesday with outstanding wins including a 5-1 win against Chulmleigh; 4-2 win against Park and 4-1 win against Braunton. There was some solid defence from Isla, with speed and plenty of leaps like a gazelle! Tichy, Skye and Mia made the perfect attacking team with accurate passes; keeping their cool under pressure and making space with ease. Mia and Ellie scored so many goals we lost count of who was actually putting them in the net. They were a dream team creating movement and support inside the D.

As expected, all girls demonstrated integrity and respect to all the umpires and players. Player of the tournament has to go to Skye. It was Skye’s first attempt at wing attack and she was an absolute natural. Demonstrating speed and agility; getting into space and away from her player. Her super sticky feet ensured she never got called for footwork and her ability to spot the space on the court and create opportunities for her team was amazing. Super impressive. Well done Year 7.

(Mrs Norris)

Year 8

The Year 8 girls also had a great night by beating Chulmleigh 8-0; South Molton 1-0, and drawing with both The Park School 1-1 and Great Torrington 2-2. Our teamwork was fantastic and we improved with each game. Shooters, Bailee and Jenny, demonstrated their accuracy throughout the night, with Bailee scoring one shot from the edge of the D in the last game! Amelie, Phoenix and Cadey were outstanding in defence. They made an impressive number of tricky interceptions to prevent other teams from scoring and were constantly turning over the ball to our attacking players. Connie, Lottie and Summer showed great accuracy and were particularly effective when passing the ball into the D to the shooters. Lottie and Connie showed their adaptability by playing multiple positions throughout the night. Player of the tournament goes to Chloe who played centre in every game. She played a key part in both attacking and defending in every match and did not stop working until the final whistle.

It is great to know that we have such a wealth of talent in this year group. Most of these students have not played in a competitive match before so should be extremely proud of their performance. Well done Year 8. (Miss Nash)

Year 10 Rugby

The Year 10 Boys hosted Chulmleigh at Killacleave this week. Due to Covid and a lack of rugby over the last two years, it was decided that we would play a 10 aside tournament. The boys had an hour to brush off the cobwebs and practise a few set pieces such as the scrummage, lineout and kick off positions.

Chulmleigh turned up in force sporting two 10 aside teams, many of whom play for Crediton and Barnstaple. In the first game Chulmleigh started brightly but this was matched by our boys’ pure determination and controlled aggression at the tackle. However, a loose ball popped out the back of a ruck which was pounced on by a strong Chulmleigh runner who ran in for a score which he also converted. This galvanised our boys’ efforts in every aspect of their game. From that point they out ran, out tackled, out thought and out muscled their opponents.

The front 5 of Ben G, Josh A and Cole T, Flynn G and Jessie T were solid as a rock, regularly winning scrums against the head. James S at scrum half and Tom B at No 10 worked well together to develop the attack whilst Alfie D and Levi M worked well together in defence, running with the ball and at the ruck. Lewis R was also fantastic in his first game of rugby.

Flynn G scored what can only be described as a brutal try after a sustained level of pressure by our boys which was converted by Jessie T. Jessie T followed this with a very impressive try created by a combination of his fancy footwork and pure muscle to score under the posts with the final score being 12 – 7 to Ilfracombe. Although the second game didn’t go so well, I was proud of everyone of them for the way they represented their school showing respect, resilience and courage. A great bunch of lads that did themselves proud. (Mr Rogers)

Year 8 Remote Live Lessons Completed

A huge thank you to all the Year 8 students, teachers and support staff for the incredible work that was completed this week. There were a few teething problems on day one but we were delighted with the level of engagement from the students. We would also like to thank all the parents and carers that supported their children or rang in to get support with IT issues to ensure their children could benefit from the live lessons. This isn’t anything that any of us want to do but we want to make sure that the students get the best provision they can under the circumstances. We’re looking forward to the Year 8s coming back into school on Monday and we will be shifting our attention to our Year 7s as they will be working from home for three days next week (see below for details).

Year 7 Students to Receive Remote Live Lessons 7th to 9th February

You will be aware that we took the step earlier this week to send Year 8 students home to receive remote live lessons. This was due to high levels of staff absence for a range of reasons but mostly due to their need to self-isolate due to Covid19. The vast majority of these staff are still testing positive beyond day 6 and for this reason will need to self-isolate into next week. We have been fortunate enough to secure a number of agency cover/supply teachers for a considerable amount of time to help the normal running of the school. Given the current situation, a number of supply teachers have also been made unavailable due to contracting Covid themselves thus compounding our staffing issues.

Yesterday we informed parents and carers that we will have to send Year 7 students home to receive remote live lessons from Monday 7th to Wednesday 9th February.

On Friday 4th February Year7 received bespoke sessions on how to access ClassCharts and TEAMs lessons. They also received information on how to join the HoY briefing at 8.45am every morning. Please see the link to our website below where you will be able to access videos and other guidance during this time.


Mr Tilley’s Head of Year briefing is important as it will inform students how they will access their lessons each day. This may change each day depending on the circumstances for each member of staff. The points that Mr Tilley might include are as follows:

  • staff member in school or isolating at home but is not ill – students will receive a live lesson via TEAMs

  • practical subject teachers including PE, DT, ART, Drama & Music will be redeployed to cover staff in school. Therefore, students working from home should access the Head of Department work that has already been set on ClassCharts for this half-term.

  • students may also be told to access the Head of Department set work on ClassCharts if their teacher is self-isolating at home and is also ill.

  • any other information will be communicated with students via the HoY briefing.

We appreciate that this is a huge inconvenience to Year 7 and their parents and that you may find this concerning. We are continuing to monitor the situation and are providing the following advice

Reminder about LFD Testing

  • People who are self-isolating with COVID-19 will have the option to reduce their isolation period after 5 full days if they test negative with a lateral flow device (LFD) test on both day 5 and day 6 and they do not have a temperature. For example, if they test negative on the morning of day 5 and the morning of day 6, they can return to their education or childcare setting immediately on day 6

  • The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 of the self-isolation period, and the second must be taken the following day. All test results should be reported to NHS Test and Trace

  • If the result of either of their tests is positive, they should continue to self-isolate until they get negative results from two LFD tests on consecutive days or until they have completed 10 full days of self-isolation, whichever is earliest

  • Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests or anyone who continues to have a temperature will need to complete the full 10-day period of self-isolation

This means that the completion of at home LFD tests is really important. We would again like to thank our parents/carers for supporting their child to complete two LFD tests at home on Sundays and Wednesdays each week. Some students have tested positive through this process and are self-isolating at home.

I hope all our students and their families enjoy the weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Rogers


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