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Queues Form For First Face-To-Face Open Evening In Two Years

 Tollbar Academy Interim Principal Victoria Watts chats with visitors Ava Allenby (10) and Ella Love (10) and current Year 9 students Maryam Kazemi and Chloe Whitton in the Geography Department at the Academy's first face-to-face Open Evening in two years. 

Parents and prospective pupils queued to get into the first Year 6 Open Evening to be held at Tollbar Academy in two years after the lifting of COVID restrictions.

Queues began to form half an hour before the event began with visitors eager to get inside and experience the facilities at one of the region’s most successful schools.

Hundreds of people visited the school halls for four different sittings to hear Interim Principal Victoria Watts welcome them and announce a number of new facilities and events which will take place this academic year. These included the opening of a brand new Humanities Block, participation in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme and a new residential trip for students.

Safety measures remained in place, including cleaning of the halls between sittings, and visitors were urged to sanitise as they entered and exited the different classrooms. They toured the site in smaller groups.

Miss Watts said: “We have a reputation for providing excellent education for all of our students and we pride ourselves on being able to deliver that right from the age of 11 through to 18. Our ethos is ‘Aspire, Endeavour, Excel.’ We have some of the best resources in the region and we focus heavily on student welfare and learning. Our aim is to inspire young people to achieve their very best.”

Visitors toured the large Academy site with student guides and took part in a wide range of tasks and experiments which showcased the breadth of activities and expertise available at the school.

From dancing fire in Science to spectacular gymnastic demonstrations in PE and serenading by the band in Music, the Academy demonstrated just a few of the reasons why it has been rated Outstanding by Ofsted since 2008.

Kelly and Luke Clayton visited the site with their children Milo (10) and Hayden (8). “We have heard a lot of people say good things about this school so we have come along to see for ourselves and we are very impressed, said Kelly.

Helen Linford-Andrews was with her children Poppy (10) and Bella (6). She said: “We love it here. We are so impressed with the facilities and it has a really nice, warm feeling too.”

As the evening came to a close, Victoria Watts said: “We are so happy to have been able to welcome visitors back into the Academy at last. It has been a tough 18 months of restrictions which have seriously curtailed a lot of the things we have been able to do. We hope that this year we can concentrate on doing what we do best, providing an exceptional education for all of our students.”

Tollbar Academy student guides Nuala Stephenson and Chloe Jackson (both Year 8) show visitors Bella (6) and Poppy Linford-Andrews (10) and Evie Winters (11) how to work with clay in Art. 

Tydan Sanigar (10) takes a closer look at the Open Evening.

Interim Principal Victoria Watts addresses a busy hall for the first of four presentations to parents and pupils in order to accommodate everyone before they toured the facilities. The chairs were spaced out for safety.

Kelly Clayton and daughter Hayden get some instructions on one of the Open Evening tasks from current students Maddison Bolton and Faith Lewis (both 14).

Tollbar Academy students in the RE Department ready to give visitors a guided tour. They are: James Roberts and Daisy Burns (both Year 11); Faith Tasker and Rosa Bennington (both Year 10); and Georgia Baxter (Year 11).

Chemical reactions. Jacob Smallbone (10) with Tollbar Academy Year 9 student Libbie Smallbone, try out an experiment under the guidance of Chemistry Teachers, Hannah Holden and Jake Bulgin.

Exploring novels in English are Charlotte Mason (Year 7), Vinnie Ball (10), Ruby Ardron (Year 7), Harriet Bunyan (Year 7), and Teacher Charlotte Hodgson (Curriculum Leader for English).

In Computing, visitors Jayden Blanchard and Zac Bywater (both 10) use the Graphics Tablets with Year 11 student Emma Hudson.

Tollbar Academy students Lyla Rodger (Year 8); Amie Richards (Year 8); Tilly Green (Year 11); Ava Ware (Year 7); Millie Storr (Year 11); Elizabeth Williams (Year 8) and Ellie-Mae Liiliendahl (Year 8) enjoy gymnastics.

Tollbar Academy students demonstrate their vaulting skills at the Open Evening.

Isaac (10) and Noah Smith (8) get a chance to try out the electronic keyboards in Music with Teacher Mrs Rebecca Smith.

Maths student Teo Ivanov (Year 7) demonstrates a Maths computer game to visitor Jessica Tuff (10).

Lily Marris (Year 11) shows off her bread-baking skills to Betsy Willis (10) in the Academy’s new Food Technology room.

 A very busy Art Department as visitors work with clay to experience texture.

Parents and Year 6 pupils queue up for the first Open Evening to be held at Tollbar Academy for two years after the lifting of COVID restrictions.

Physics Teacher Richard Howe demonstrates the Reubens Tube, where fire reacts to sound, to visitor Harry Pilfold (10) watched by Tollbar Academy Year 11 student William Jones (15).

Trainee Teacher Emily Ferriby-Gotts, a former Tollbar Academy pupil, shows visitors the workings of the heart. With her are Billy Johnson (10), Betsy Johnson (8) and Harriet MacDonnell (10).

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Tollbar Academy Interim Principal

Victoria Watts