• The Ilfracombe Academy

Letter from the Headteacher | So Much To Share

Dear Parents and Carers,

It’s been a week of extremes again this week. We’ve had some massive highs with outstanding achievements on a regional and national scale but some rather disappointing lows with a small group of students making some very poor choices that contravene our school values. The school staff do not deserve or should not have to tolerate how a small minority of students speak to staff in such a disrespectful manner or conduct themselves around the school site. Our staff are working incredibly hard to support all of our students and it is important to remind ourselves that we are a values-based school where mutual respect; responsibility to protect an effective learning environment so everyone can achieve their full potential and just simple kindness are all free to give and not much to ask.

We recognise that some students need more support and direction to make the right choices and we are working to develop a better solution for those students currently displaying the highest-level of defiance and disruption so that they themselves can be successful. This will then enable us to offer disruption free learning for everyone else in our learning community. We will communicate this plan to parents and carers in the near future.

Students’ uniform has improved but we would certainly like to see things improve further. There are a very small number of students who are permitted non-uniform items because of a diagnosed medical or SEND need. However, it is evident that there is a group of students who continue to wear uniform incorrectly on a daily basis. We have been supporting and challenging those students to get things right in equal measure but this hasn’t had the desired effect that we needed to see. Therefore, we will now be sending students home or asking their parents to bring in their correct uniform. Please support your child by ensuring they have the correct uniform each day.

Year 11 and Y13 Exam Season

The exam season begins in earnest from Monday 16th May. This is the opportunity for our students to reap the rewards of the efforts they have made this year. Exam breakfasts are available for each morning exam and subject teachers will be on hand to answer any final questions as well as to calm any last-minute nerves. We would like to wish all our examination students the best of luck in the coming weeks. We know that they will do themselves and the academy proud.

Please see some information that we would like you to aware of leading up to the week beginning 16th May.


We are very proud of our school’s mental health ambassadors that have won a prestigious National Rotary award. Please see their incredible press release below:


Four teenagers, aged between 14 and 17, from North Devon who set up Spark UK to help other young people with their mental health are winners of a Rotary Young Citizen Award 2022.

Their aim is to “spark the conversation around mental health” and alleviate the stigma through their website www.sparkuk.co.uk and developing resources for schools and the community.

They have gained support from sports stars and celebrities such as Jonny Wilkinson, Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson who recorded messages for an All-Star Digital Calendar (an online version of an advent calendar) where they talked about their own mental health.

They received their Award from BBC TV Presenter Ellie Crisell at the Rotary Young Citizen Awards Ceremony at the Volunteer Expo at the NEC in Birmingham on 7th May ahead of the start of Mental Health Awareness Week this week.

The four teenagers who started Spark UK are 16-year-old Conor Warren, 17-year-old Bridie Downing, 16-year-old Tegan Phillips and 15-year-old Joseph Carter. They were joined at the Awards by two new members 17-year-old Kaia Bond and Noah McNamara, aged 15.

Spark UK was nominated for the Award by Ilfracombe Rotary. The group said: ”We are delighted to win this Award and thank Rotary for this opportunity. We have worked so hard over the past 1 ½ years to get people talking about mental health and to get open honest and relatable conversations around the topic in both schools and in the media. Winning this award will give us to opportunity to continue our work and reach more young people across the UK. After being involved with Rotary for a number of years, it is great to further our relationship with them as well as the other inspirational young winners.

The Rotary Young Citizen Awards are celebrating their 15th Anniversary this year. They were started in 2007 to celebrate the amazing achievements of inspirational young people across Great Britain and Ireland, many of whom have assumed important responsibilities at a very young age. Nominations are put forward by Rotary Clubs.

Ten Tors 2022 Success

Congratulations to our amazing Ten Tors Team including Elsie Burrows, Millie Hayes, Poppy Turner, Sam Gover, Theo Bell & Ben Gooch. The reserves for the event that also did an amazing job through their training were Alice Lilly and Daisy freeman.

The team walked 257 miles over 15 separate training walks ensuring they were fully prepared our Ten Tors 35 Mile challenge team. The group of 6 youngsters from Year 9 had fought off tough competition from over 45 individuals who all wanted to be part of our academy’s challenge team this year!

Training began on the coast path which for the team seemed tame in comparison to what Dartmoor had to offer over the winter training months. Throughout training, the students were showing their strengths along with learning new skills and adapting to ever changing weather. The team of 6 began to emerge from the year group as a very strong team. These individuals went above and beyond in training and a team was formed. The event itself this year had the team up extra early on the Saturday start day, to create a formation of teams into a 60 to celebrate 60 years of ten tors. The morning arrived with thick mysterious fog which did not deter our youngsters from being full of energy and raring to go. As they started to towards the start area the sun began to break through the cloud and fog creating an atmosphere that words cannot convey. The team Sam, Theo, Ben, Millie, Poppy and Elsie along with our two reserves Daisy and Alice were eagerly awaiting the starting ceremony, cannon fire and away they went.

Now it was over to them to put all their training and hard work to the test. From the start they were showing a good pace and they were matching their planned timing to within 5 minutes. This amazing progress continued through the afternoon and into their overnight stop at Little Miss Tor. They were up and away in fantastic time on Sunday (the alarm clock we had given them set for 4.30am did the job!) Again, the team were tracking with their intended timing well. Sunday morning brought the group to navigate in an area they had not trained really putting what they had learnt into practice! Just after 2pm the team were spotted coming over the brow of the hill. They crossed the line at 14.57 – an amazing time! Well done!

Rosie Moffat (Ten Tors Team Manager)

A huge thank you to Miss Moffat, Mr James and Miss Clinch for training and supporting the students throughout the training. Recruitment for the next team starts in September.

Primary Transition

Mr Cronin (Deputy Headteacher Student and Family Support) hosted an amazing Year 6 Friendship Day allowing the students to get to know each other and discuss key topics such as the importance of our school values and online safety.

Falmouth University Trip

Year 8 Visited Falmouth University this week, where we experienced a snapshot of University life. We viewed some amazing animated short films and were able to critique with the director. Students were given a tour of the campus and were able to see the different areas where subjects are delivered. We were surprised to learn that there are no exams and students are encouraged to build up their knowledge through coursework and ongoing projects.

We were also treated to a trip to the beach for lunch to show the social side of University life. Thank you to Andy and all the volunteers who made us so welcome. Year 8 were pleased to learn about the variety of courses and societies available to join. There are lots of unusual avenues to discover and to cater for different tastes. It was well worth the long journey to get there and we were left wanting more! A great day and well done Year 8, as always, for representing The Ilfracombe Academy so brilliantly. We are really proud of you all.

Miss Andrew and Mrs Roy

Falmouth University was incredible. The equipment in their photography rooms was amazing. I was specifically impressed by the fashion and textiles building. I feel like I’m considering going there just for that. The fact that they are twenty minutes from the beach makes it even more amazing. I was very impressed with the animations they created. I thought it was very inspirational.

Lauren H Year 8 student

Mental Health Parent afternoon

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, the academy held a parent information afternoon. It was lovely to see so many parents attending.

The aim was to meet parents and share the results of our mental health audit; look at current plans and discuss future events. We outlined where and how mental health fits into our curriculum and where we can increase this and make it more apparent to the pupils. We had the opportunity to introduce the Mental Health Support Team and their role within our school. We are about to relaunch the student ambassadors who will organise events; visit tutors and mentor peers and develop our Mental health section on our web page. This will include links, videos and information of upcoming events.

Mrs Chiswell

Drama Summer Performances

As we approach the end of the academic year and your summer plans are taking shape, Stage Right Theatre Company have a few more dates for your diary. Students are hard at work rehearsing and choreographing Showstoppers 3 - a musical theatre showcase where every number is sung & choreographed by our students with support from some of the music department’s best student musicians! The theme this year is 'legends' and we have songs from across the decades and across the musical genres for your entertainment! We are hoping for some street food to compliment out cabaret style staging and it's gearing up to be a fantastic performance. We are performing in St Christopher's Hall on Friday 15th & Saturday 16th July. Tickets will be on sale on WEDUC next week so make sure to get yours.

We are also taking our successful production of Romeo & Juliet on a summer tour. We are visiting Lee Abbey in Lynton on 9th July followed by a performance at Combe Martin Arches wedding venue on the 10th concluding with one more performance in St Christopher's Hall on Monday 11th. This final performance will include Ruby Godber in the role of Juliet after being understudy throughout the process. So if you missed this show the first time round and you are in the mood for some unabridged Shakespeare performed incredibly by our students, get your tickets on WEDUC next week. Make sure you select the right venue and if you're coming to Lynton or Combe Martin, get that deck chair ready!

Mr Vale

Reminder Living with Covid - What is the future plan?

As mentioned earlier, the Government has now updated its “Living with Covid”. As you know a number of our staff have been ill, but many have mentioned that under normal circumstances they would only have been unable to attend school/work on 2 to 3 days out of the 10 that they were having to stay at home. It is, therefore, time for our learning community to start to live with Covid and get back to normal as soon as we possibly can. However, we will take a balanced approach to this new way of working as follows:

On behalf of all the staff at The Ilfracombe Academy, I hope you all have a weekend with your family and friends.

Yours Sincerely

Steve Rogers


42 views0 comments