Pool Academy girls invited to engineering day

A group of girls from Pool Academy were invited to take part in the International Women in Engineering day.

More than 200 students from 13 schools across the county took part in the event which took part at Truro High School for Girls. 

It was hoped that by taking part in the day the girls would become inspired into aiming towards engineering as a future career. 

Organisers said ‘many of the girls remarked on how they arrived knowing nothing about engineering and left with many different and exciting possibilities to explore’.

Claire Giles, science teacher at Pool Academy, said: “It was wonderful to take our students to the event. They took part in several tasks throughout the day including, building an oil rig out of white chocolate and designing a wind turbine.

“They were a credit to the school. All girls put 100 percent into every task. I look forward to guiding their interests towards engineering in the future. A special thank you to Fiona Osman which organised the event at Truro High School for Girls.”

Karate student gets brown belt

A karate student has been handed her brown belt after successfully completing a gruelling day.

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Alisha, Year 7, practises Doryoku Ryu Karate Jutsu four days a week in Camborne and Redruth.

She recently travelled up to Plymouth to take part in an examination to gain her brown belt, which is one belt away from the top black.

Two judges watched her complete hours of tasks before awarding her the qualification.

She said: “I went to Plymouth to get my brown belt.

“We left at 9.30am in the morning and arrived home by about 5pm.

“It took three or four hours to complete the tasks to get the belt.

“I had to do sparring and lots of push ups.

“I did it in front of two judges. I was nervous.

“My mum is really proud of me.

“I had to work hard to get my brown belt but it was worth it.”

Alisha is now working towards her black tag, the next step towards a black belt. She hopes to get this in six months’ time. After getting two black tags she will then be able to try and get a black belt in two years’ time.

Alisha has been taking part in classes for over a year and has also been taking part in a number of tournaments too. In the past she travelled to Saltash where she achieved a silver medal.

Smart suits and gowns at Prom

Smart suits and glitzy gowns were on show as Year 11s dressed to impress for this year’s prom.

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Pool Academy school leavers were invited to the event which took place in St Ives recently.

Thanks to months of fundraising the young people had an array of treats lined up for them when they arrived at Tregenna Castle. There was also a photograph booth and a sweet cart.

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Teacher Kirstie Conway-Baker, who helped the Year 11s organise this year’s prom, said: “The Prom was brilliant. The students all looked amazing and the weather was very kind to us.

“The room at the castle was decorated with sunflowers and there were lemon and grey chair bows.

“The students danced all night and there wasn't a time when the dance floor wasn't full.

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“I was very proud of the effort the prom committee put in to planning and fundraising for the prom they wanted.

“It was a night we will never forget. We have to thank Emily Rose Events Hire who worked with the prom committee to make their ideas into reality.”

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Pupils dig for valuables

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Pupils were invited to Pool Academy to learn what life is like for archaeologists.

The children were encouraged to get down in the dirt and dig for treasure as part of the fun history lesson.

Bits of pottery, coins and other artefacts had been buried in a section of the school grounds ready to be unearthed, washed and catalogued.

History Leaders from Pool Academy were on hand to help the youngsters in their quest to find as many pieces of history as they could find.

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Mr Turner, History teacher at the academy, said it was a great opportunity for children to learn independence and meet their future teachers if they choose to come to the school.

He said: “The pupils were learning what it is like to be an archaeologist. They were allocated history leaders from Pool Academy.

“The pupils have to find the artefacts, clean them, catalogue them, record and bag them.

“The event gives history leaders independence teaching the children what to do and facilitate the instructions.”

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Mrs Wyatt, from Treloweth Primary School, said: “The event was amazing. The children showed independence and great collecting and were really excited by the artefacts they were fading.

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The big dig linked well with our roman topic.

“It was a fantastic event.”

Mr Turner said the event had been organised for primary schools in the area.

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Student rewarded for help at art gallery

A Pool Academy student has been rewarded after helping out at an art gallery during work experience week.


Sophie Ratcliff, Year 10, impressed the curator so much that she has even be asked to come back when she is 16 and sit on the board of Trustees.

Sophie would like to use her creativity as part of her future career so when she was invited to work at Pool School Art Gallery for a week she agreed.

During her time with Jonty Lees, galley curator, she met a number of different people and helped out with a selection of activities. She also designed and made the new sign for the building which Mr Lees hopes to install soon.

Sophie said she worked with young people and older people on a number of different projects over the week.

She added: “I had a good time at the gallery. It was a really fun and creative experience. Working with Jonty was really good too.

“When I am older I would like to do something creative.”

Mr Lees was so impressed with Sophie that he rewarded her with a prize of art-related goodies.

He said: “Sophie has been fantastic.

“We are thinking about getting young people on our board of trustees and when she is 16 she could be on the board. She could play a really important part of that.”

Expert to give Effective learning and revision talk

Students in Year 10 are being invited to attend an evening talk with an expert on the topic of effective learning and revision.

Dr Martjin van der Spoel is a chartered psychologist who specialises in using the mind as a tool for learning.

He plans to talk to students about how they can learn to balance focus, use motivation and study behaviour. He will also offer ways in which parents can guide and support their children through creative and constructive guidance.

The talk will take place on Wednesday 10th July in the main hall at 6.30pm.

Nigel Williams, a teacher at Pool Academy, said: “As our Year 10 move toward their final GCSE year, many students will feel under work pressure. It is important that such pressure does not cause undue stress, or revision become counterproductive.

“Some student can find revision emotionally and practically challenging.

“The presentation has a significant, but accessible, emphasis on the psychology behind the strategies of learning. Both students and parents should leave the sessions not only with the ‘how’ but also with the ‘why’ of effective learning.

“We do hope your child will be able to join us.”

Students have already had guidance from subject teachers but the academy is keen to further ensure students to know how to use strategies and revise steadily and effectively.

Water sportsman to visit Pool Academy

A British water polo player who took part in the Olympics will be teaching a group of students from Pool Academy.


Craig Figes, who was team captain of the men’s team in 2012 for the London Olympic Games, will be visiting on Tuesday, July 16th.

He will be playing some water polo with a group of students in Year 7 and 8 at Carn Brea Leisure Centre.

Students have not played much Water Polo in the past so Tom Ford, PE teacher at Pool Academy, believes this will be a great introduction to the sport.

He said: “The PE department and I are very excited to meet Craig in a couple of weeks. It'll be an amazing opportunity for our students to meet such an accomplished athlete.

“It is also a great opportunity for students to complete a Water Polo session at Carn Brea Leisure Centre taught by Craig himself.

“This will be a wonderful way to reward some of our most hardworking students in Year 7 and Year 8.” 

Craig is working with Pool Academy as part of the school’s partnership with YouthSports.

Over the years he has taken part in the European Nations cup, the Commonwealth Games, the Australian National League and has been the Great Britain National Champion in 1995-1998, 2001,2007 and 2011.

Students battle the war on plastic by creating whale sculpture 

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Students have created a large plastic whale sculpture out of plastic bottles and reclaimed items to illustrate the effects waste has on our oceans.

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Eco-friendly student Freya Johnson, from Pool Academy, dreamt up the idea after collecting such a large amount of food and drink containers.

She wanted to raise awareness of the importance of cutting down on single use plastic to prevent it ending up on our beaches in the sea.

Affectionately named Wally, Freya hopes the whale will be used as an educational tool with fellow students and primary school pupils.

It was created out of reclaimed items. The frame was made from reclaimed chicken wire on an old table. About 500 plastic bottles were wired on for its body and a broken surfboard became its flippers. Old water piping, ducting and insulation was also used.


Freya said: “The finished sculpture is better than I imagined it would be. It is definitely worth all the hard work. I hope it will help stop lots of the plastic use in the community.”

The sculpture was created during Curriculum Enrichment Week and Freya’s mother, Catherine Waistell, helped with the designing and creation of the whale.

She said: “Wally the Whale is all about the message on plastic which is something, as a family, we are passionate about. The message is we are looking to recycling but this should be the third stage. Initially we need to think about reducing and reusing before recycling.

“Freya was talking about doing something at home and she asked Pool Academy and they said it could be done in CEW week. I came in and gave a hand.

“It was hard work doing all the wiring. The children were brilliant drilling the holes in the bottles and taking part.

“It is the first time I have ever done anything like this. Once the mouth was on it took shape. 

“Wally is so lovable.”

One student who saw it said: “It is amazing.”

Another said: “I love it.”

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Mr Sidwell, DT teacher at Pool Academy, said: “They have done a really good job. They started with bottles and a pile of rubbish. It has got character.” 

Freya’s whole family are eco conscious and make their own soaps, cleaning products and do what they can to try and avoid using plastic.

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Footballers play in Germany tournament

Students from Pool Academy travelled to Germany recently to represent Cornwall in an under 13s tournament.


Ned, Year 8, was selected to represent Cornwall Youth Football Select Under 13s squad. Finley, Year 10, was part of the Under 15s Youth Select squad.

The pair, and the rest of their teams, took part in a two-day competition in Ibbenburen.

The under 13 team did well ending in first place on the first day of the event. On the second day the games proved harder but they fought hard and came away sixth overall.

Rachel, a parent, said: “The Hawks fought hard and came away 6th overall. 
“It was a great achievement out of 25 teams. 
“Ned enjoyed the opportunity to play other countries and an experience which was fantastic, making new friends for life.” 

Ned said: “They play differently to this country. It was really fun. It was a good experience and I would love to do it again. I learnt lots of new skills.”


The Under 15s team came fourth out of 30 teams.

Natalie, a parent, said: “They played well and got through to the semi-finals.”

Ned and Finley had to take part in a number of trials to qualify for the West Cornwall Under 13s squad. He played against 290 others to secure his place as a left wing player.

In the past Ned’s team have played against Plymouth Argyle Under 13s in Yeovil.

Finley recently represented Plymouth Argyle Centre of Excellence in the ME cup in Majorca against teams from Barcelona, Manchester City and Inter Milan.

Lots of fun on CEW adventures


Animals, art, sunshine and walking were just some of the highlights from this year’s Curriculum Enrichment week.

Students from Pool Academy have been off on trips all around the country to explore and learn new skills. 


There has been surfing, football, performing arts, creative activities, walking, visits to the zoo, skating and scootering, horse riding and much more.

In school a group of students have also been busy constructing a large whale out a hoard of plastic they collected from the community. They hope it will help to illustrate the effect the plastic waste has on the oceans. 

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Freya, Year 7, said: “We enjoyed doing the project. It is good fun. We couldn’t wait to see what it looked like when completed.”

Another group helped with the school’s sensory garden and also built an outside area with a hut, balance bar and more.

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Trips out included the art group visit to St Ives. Here they were treated to a look around St Ives Tate and the Barbara Hepworth sculpture garden.  It inspired them to have a go at making some art pieces for themselves.

One Year 9 student said: “It was fun. I liked the Tate gallery, it was good. I liked the piece of art work that looked like fireworks. It is something I would like to try myself.

Another Year 9 student said: “The gallery was fun and entertaining. My best bit was a sketch I saw at the Tate.”

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Anna, Year 9, said: “It was exciting to go to St Ives. I liked the Barbara Hepworth gardens.  I liked seeing the art outside. The trip inspired me and I want to use more clay now.”

Other students went On Safari, visiting a number of animal attractions around the Country.

Teacher Lisa Warwicker said: “When we spent the day at Cotswold Wildlife Park the wolves and lemurs proved amongst the most popular animals.

“We spent a night in Cheddar and then went to Longleat. The students were very good but the naughty monkeys stole the bus badge and some bits off of the wipers.

“Over the week the students enjoyed the safari drive through, a train and boat ride, and lots more.” 

The Law and Order week was a success with students getting to sit inside emergency vehicles and learn about the Coastguard and Fire and Rescue Service.

Football crazy also offered a week of skills and games in the well-loved sport.

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Students handed art awards

A group of young artists have been given prizes to celebrate their efforts over the past academic year at the academy’s Gallery.

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Jonty Lees, curator of Pool School Gallery, held a special event for students working towards their Bronze Arts Award with him at the gallery.

Parents, school governors, students, teachers and other officials were invited to attend the celebrations which ran from 3.30pm until 6.30pm.

The sun shone and a student had baked cakes especially for visitors to share. Students were all presented with prizes in the gallery’s garden.

During the event visitors were also able to view the students’ artwork on the walls as well as seeing Frisky, a sculpture by Sir Jacob Epstein.

Mr Lees said: “The exhibition went really well. We had lots of parents visit and our youngest support was nine months old.

“A student made some wonderful cakes and we gave out prizes. All the children received prizes.

“The afternoon event was a celebration of the arts award which they had started in September.

“It was brilliant and they all did really well.”

Mr Lees said after gaining the bronze award the students can start working towards their silver and then hopefully, gold. He hopes more students will start studying their arts award at the gallery in the next academic year.

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New books galore at Pool Academy

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Stacks of new titles have arrived to boost shelves in the school library after Pool Academy were named winners of a competition.

Students are excited to get their hands on chart-topping books including The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and JK Rowling’s Harry Potter. There are also stories by Michael Morpurgo and Benjamin Zephaniah.

The Big Book Giveaway competition was run by Scholastic and the prize was a haul of around 50 new books.

Sandra Hampton, school librarian, said: “I think it is fantastic to get these books. It is brilliant to win the competition.

“We had to say why we deserved to win. I told them I had been going to market places in my own time to buy top titles for the school library to cut costs. I told them how I was able to get books by David Walliams and The Wimpy Kid series. The judges chose us as winners so they must have felt we deserved the books.

“I asked students which books they would like to see in the library and ordered a selection which included what they wanted.”

Mrs Hampton said she hopes to see the books on the shelves, ready to be borrowed, as soon as possible.

One student said they were excited to see the new books and was looking forward to reading the Harry Potter series.

Lisette Neesham, Vice Principal at Pool Academy, said: "It is wonderful to see so many new titles. Reading is a wonderful past time that can whisk you off on a number of adventures whilst still sitting in the comfort of your own chair.

“I hope as many students as possible will browse the shelves of the library and choose one of the new, exciting books."

Buzz plans his latest adventure

Pool Academy mascot Buzz the Bear is coming back out of retirement to venture out into the oceans in a little capsule.

A new group of students from the secondary school are meeting twice a week to plan the small bear’s excursion. They hope that by sending him out to sea they will be able to discover where the currents will take him.

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The plan is to place Buzz and a small tracking device into a vessel and set it out from the shores of a nearby beach. They will then use high tech equipment to see where it drifts.

A Year 7 student said: “We are going to make a little capsule for Buzz to go in so he can go where the current takes him. We are going to use solar panels to give the capsule lots of energy.”

Students believe tracing his path along the calm and stormy seas will also show them the path waste is also taken. They hope this will show people why it is important not to litter and to recycle correctly.

Another Year 7 student said: “We are doing this experiment because we would like to see where plastic ends up if it is left at the beach.”

Phil Jones, who is helping steer the students on the project, said: “One of the main reasons for carrying out this project is because we want to know what happens if you leave plastic bottles on the beach. Where do they end up?”

Buzz the bear has been on many adventures as part of school experiments including being taken to the edge of space and going deep down a Cornish mine.

Pool Academy welcomes a new member of staff

Pool Academy staff are welcoming a new member to their team after a vigorous two-day interview process.


Cris Heartford will be joining Pool Academy as Head of Faculty for English and MFL.

In 1995 Mr Heartford graduated with an English degree from Liverpool John Moores University. He started teaching two decades ago after spending a number of years living in Tenerife and New Zealand.

His career to date has typically involved working in coastal schools around Devon and Cornwall.  He is passionate about motivating children to ‘dream big’ and delivering inspiring educational experiences.  This has seen him organising events in Cornish schools including Space evenings, Elizabethan days and lectures from the producer of Blue Planet.

Mr Heartford wishes to bring enthusiasm, excitement and his motivational experience to the school. His vision for the role is helping deliver an academic experience worthy of the students of Pool Academy.

When asked, he said he was looking forward to starting at Pool Academy because ‘it is a really special educational community and I want to be part of its journey to being one of the best schools in Cornwall’.

Claire Meakin, Principal at Pool Academy, said: “We are incredibly excited that Cris is joining us. He was very popular with the students and staff during the interview process and we look forward to welcoming him to the Academy”.

Successful expedition

Silly songs helped students to walk through wind, rain and sunshine during their Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition.

A group of 16 students set off from Pool Academy on Friday to take part in the event to earn their bronze.


They walked 18 kilometres, plus some extra ones thanks to a few wrong turns, on the Great Flat Lode and through nearby villages.

The two-day adventure saw them carrying all their own equipment, camping overnight and making their own meals.

The students also picked up litter they found along the route they had planned themselves.

Jenny Smith, teacher at Pool Academy, said the students who took part in the expedition were successful in completing that section of the award.

She said: “Students walked in wind, rain and sunshine but were in good spirits for almost all of the expedition.

“They followed footpaths, bridleways, lanes and roads, using map skills and compasses to navigate the route.

“In total they walked just over 18 kilometres, although a few extra were added on the second day as each group got lost at least once.

“Tilly the dog came to their rescue and helped them find the correct route back to the check points.

“Lots of silly songs were created to keep up moral on the journey and students really enjoyed spending time away together, hanging out with the DofE mascot dogs that accompanied us - Tilly, Dougie and Rhino.

“They all did really well and were a pleasure to take away. They were polite and well-mannered in the community with all those that they met on the journey, respectful to the environment and represented the school to a high standard.”

Students get sporty

Archery, curling, basketball, football and more was on offer to those taking part in the Trevictus Games recently.


A group of students from Pool Academy spent the afternoon at Carn Brea Leisure Centre competing in the different sports.

The weather stayed dry and all those taking part in the event, organised by Trevithick Primary School, seemed to have a lovely time.

Vicky Reynolds, from Pool Academy, said: “All the students loved the activities and really enjoyed themselves. They got to try archery, curling, basketball, football penalties with Plymouth Argyle, tennis and jumping skills.  We also got to meet the Chuffy mascot.

“There was a lot of support and team work to make sure everyone had a positive experience.

“It was fantastic to see them all enjoying themselves. At the end of the event they all receive a medal.

“We are thankful to Trevithick Primary School staff for inviting us and we look forward to next year’s.”

Thirteen students from Pool Academy took part in the day.

Budding comic book designs poster

A budding comic book creator has seen his anti-bullying poster put up on walls across the school to help inform peers how to take action.


Ryan, Year 7, designed the poster himself during a PSHE day. He wanted to show people what they can do if they see or experience bullying.

He said it took him a long time to complete and he was glad teachers liked it so much that they wanted to display it on the school walls.

He said: “It is about people who get bullied but in the end the bully stops being mean. I also put in about the Red Button programme we have at Pool Academy.

“I was proud when the teachers put it on the wall. I liked it when the Principal said she liked it.

“I have always liked drawing and I make comics at home. I got the idea to make comic books from one of my friends who also draws them.”

Students learn about army life

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Students were put through their paces recently when members of the army arrived to show them what life is like in that career.

A number of problem solving and physical activities were created for Year 9s to take part in during their recent PSHE day.

Students were split into four groups and sent to different workshops. These included steering a remote control vehicle around a course using coding, working in teams to solve problems and taking part in an assault course on a school field. They were also given a talk by members of the Royal Artillery Cornwall who said they went around the country promoting their core. They spoke about ‘strike elements’ and ‘find targets’ and explained about some of the technology they use including drones.

One student said: “The assault course was tough. I am glad I did it though. I enjoyed my time with the army, it was a good PSHE day.”

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Another said: “It was a good day. There was a bit of competitiveness and team work. It gave us a good insight into life in the army. I was surprised by the variety of jobs available in the army.”

Another added: “I respect them and they were friendly. They shouted at us encouragingly during the assault course.”

Kirstie Conway-Baker, a teacher at Pool Academy, said she was proud of her group for persevering through the outdoor challenge, which needed both teamwork skills and physical fitness.

During the day there were also other activities taking place including a talk on Resilience and a session with a Young Person's Service 'YZUP'.

Students visit the children's hospice they fundraised for

Kind-hearted students who raised hundreds of pounds for charity were invited to go and see the work their money will be helping.

A group from Year 8 held a number of fundraisers, including a sponsored haircut, a bake sale and a day-long football event. 

The activities saw students raising a total of £511.11 for Children’s Hospice South West.

The group were invited to Little Harbour Children’s Hospice to see the work the charity does and were given a tour of the building.

Anna and Dylan said: “The hospice was kept very clean but it was made so it didn’t seem like a hospital.

“Some rooms were emotional because they had notes from bereaved families whose child had died.

“There is a lot of activities for children to do.”

Sharon Bright, teacher at Pool Academy, said: “I am so proud of all the students who have worked incredibly hard to raise £511.11 for Little Harbour.

“The staff at the Little Harbour were really impressed with how polite and smart all the students were and said that they were a credit to Pool Academy.

“Well done to all the students that helped to raise this incredible amount.”

Student hopes of becoming a chef

A Year 7 student at Pool Academy enjoys cooking and hopes to become a chef when she is older.


A Year 7 student at Pool Academy enjoys cooking and hopes to become a chef when she is older.

Lacey has moved up to the academy from Treloweth Primary School. Her favourite subject is English and she likes her teacher Mrs McKune.

She said: “I like reading in my spare time. At the moment I am reading Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.

“I want to be a chef when I am older. I enjoy cooking at home and sometimes I cook tea for the family.

“I made a nice spaghetti Bolognese

“In DT I did some baking and made carrot cupcakes.”