News‎ > ‎

Principal's Blog

From the Head of Thorpe Campus

posted by Amy Deamer

“Opportunities are like sunrises, if you wait too long you miss them”. William Arthur Ward.

Over the last couple of weeks, our students have been making the most of the opportunities presented to them. A team of Year 7 Mathematicians have competed in the NEMO Maths Challenge against other schools in the area. Against very tough competition, they were pipped to the post by just one point.

Three Year 9 students, Oliver Williamson, Tom White and Bailey Southern, have competed in the Robot Triathalon in Derby. Over three very challenging events the team returned victorious having beaten several university teams. Some of our Year 9 students have also been competing in the Bebra Computing Challenge, including Lydia McFetteridge who scored in the top 1% of students from across the whole country.

Our Year 9s have also had the opportunity to meet Douglas Carswell, who visited TTC as part of the Speakers for Schools Initiative. Mr Carswell spoke to them about broadening horizons and encouraging our students in their ambitions. He made reference to our geographical position on the fringes of London and the wealth of opportunities this brings.

With exams on the horizon and the pressure mounting, it is perhaps important to remember that school is about much more than gaining those all-important qualifications: “The journey not the arrival matters.” T.S.Elliott.

Mr D Woodcock 
Head of Thorpe Campus 

From the Head of Frinton Campus

posted 17 Mar 2017, 07:05 by Amy Deamer

This week and next at Frinton Campus our Year 11 students will be undertaking their English and Maths practice examinations. The exams will allow teachers to assess progress and provide advice and guidance to help improve grades. During this time, the stress levels of students may peak, I can assure you that staff at TTC will do everything they can to make the examination process run as smoothly as possible. To help this, could I ask that you continue to encourage your child to arrive on time for College, as any lateness to exams can cause unnecessary stress to many students involved in the exam process. Thank you for your support with this.

Tuesday saw the arrival of two guest speakers at Frinton Campus to deliver a presentation to Year 10 and 11 students. David Cameron (an education specialist - not the ex-prime minister) and Chris Kilkenny, gave a hard hitting motivational talk that was extremely emotional yet uplifting. It is probably best to use the words of Chris Kilkenny himself:

'Unlike some of the distinguished keynote speakers and educational celebrities whom I admire and am inspired by, I do not have decades of degrees and Educational work experience, what I do bring to the table is four failed school placements, a first-hand experience of being in the education system and living in poverty. I spent a large amount of my childhood in care and have lived in rehab twice but never been an addict. Luckily there is a small documentary that was made by the BBC whilst I lived there that will show you in what capacity I lived there, it’s called Chris’s story. I also love and have always loved Education and Learning but I left school with no qualifications.'

The passion for learning and gaining an education burst from his presentation, his story was complicated, and his life story was sad and hard to listen to in places. However, the overwhelming message was clear to all who listened. Use the time at school wisely and gain all the qualifications you can as later in life it is much harder. Both David and Chris have been touring Essex delivering this message to thousands of students and hundreds of teachers across the county. Both speakers commented on how the students at TTC had been their largest audience and by far the best behaved audience. They also commented on how mature and articulate the students were when asking questions during the presentation, they praised all our students for the respect they showed throughout. It goes without saying I was proud to hear such great compliments and wanted to share this with you.

Mr C Collins
Head of Frinton Campus

From the Head of Thorpe Campus

posted 10 Mar 2017, 02:49 by Amy Deamer

On Thursday 2 March, I had the pleasure of attending the Young Songwriter of the Year finals at Thorpe Campus. Six students performed music and songs that had been written entirely by themselves. Playing in front of an audience is something that I have no experience of however, I appreciate how nerve racking it can be, even for experienced musicians. During the interval I spoke to one of the contestants, Tuen Allsop, and asked how long he had been playing the guitar. His response was not what I expected: “a month” he said.

I was somewhat taken aback and so questioned him further. He explained that when he heard of the competition he wanted to enter and so pestered his parents to buy him a guitar. He then taught himself entirely by using an App on his mobile phone. To go from zero to writing and performing a song in front of an audience is an incredible achievement and is testament to the dedication and determination of the young man.

It is also interesting to see how powerful mobile phones and technology can be in helping our children to accelerate their learning. When used for the ‘power of good’ they can lift the lid on learning and allow students to achieve things that people of my generation could perhaps only dream about. Unfortunately, as we are becoming all too aware, mobile phones and social media can also be incredibly damaging to a childs wellbeing and I would urge you to read the following article on using social media.

To finish on a positive with another example of determination and achievement from one of our Year 12 students: congratulations to Chantelle Frost who won a silver medal in a recent national archery competition. She took up the sport in October 2016. It just goes to show where determination can take you!

Mr D Woodcock
Head of Thorpe Campus

From the Principal

posted 3 Mar 2017, 00:44 by Amy Deamer

Reading about the wonderful Hawaii trip in this weeks newsletter has prompted me to reflect upon the importance of the extra curricular activities on offer at TTC. When I look back at my school years it is always the trips and sporting opportunities that I remember most. At the time I don't think I appreciated that without the dedication of my teachers, these events would not have happened.

At TTC this week we have the following trips taking place:

Year 7 through the Brilliant Club are visiting the University of East Anglia. On Saturday a number of Year 8 students are taking part in a mock magistrates court in Chelmsford. Year 12 are making their way to the Normandy beaches on Thursday for three days on a History trip and on Wednesday we had Camps International attending the College giving details of a once in a lifetime opportunity for our KS5 students to volunteer over the summer holiday to work with a community project overseas.

All of these opportunities are in addition to the after College sporting, musical, artistic and academic provisions that take place, week in, week out.

I am really pleased that we offer so much at TTC, there is certainly no excuse for being bored.

Thank you to all parents/guardians that have contacted the College following my email regarding the Educ8 campaign. I will be replying personally to those who have requested further details to help them write a letter of support to our local MP.

I thought that I would share with you the thoughts of one parent that contacted the College ‘We will be supporting the campaign by writing a letter, our 3 children have had a wonderful experience at TTC and I would like to think my friends with younger children will have the ability to do the same!’

Thank you for your support.

Michael Muldoon

From the Head of Frinton Campus

posted 24 Feb 2017, 03:20 by Amy Deamer   [ updated 24 Feb 2017, 03:24 ]

Welcome back, I hope you all enjoyed the break and now feel refreshed and ready for the next six weeks in College. Before the half-term break the Year 11 Learning Team delivered study skill sessions to our Year 11 students. The students were extremely receptive to the presentations which focused on preparation for examinations, how to study, improving working memory and stress management etc...

At one point during the presentation all the students were given a gift. The gift presented to them could not be seen, or held, it was a priceless gift that if not used during the holiday would never be available again. The gift was that of TIME. Each student was shown how to make the most of each day and find at least   four hours where they could prepare for examinations. The question that needs to be asked is....was the gift used?

We now enter the final stage of education for students preparing for exams, every spare morsel of time has to be used effectively. Staff at TTC will continue to help students to understand and learn the subjects being studied. Now, really is the time for the students to be responsible for their own preparation.

As parents and guardians you can also help at home. Please see the TTC website for a copy of our help booklet for parents and guardians, which contains tips on how to maintain motivation and encourage persistence, revision support and dealing with stress. Go to scroll down to GCSEs - What can a parent do? and select the link “click here ”.

Our Year 11 students are faced with a dizzying array of examinations this summer, for many it will be a very stressful period in their lives. Good quality preparation for the exams is the only way in which they will achieve the grades they truly deserve. The following quote says it all:
"If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first four hours sharpening the axe - Abraham Lincoln" 

Mr C Collins
Head of Frinton Campus

From the Head of Thorpe Campus

posted 10 Feb 2017, 02:30 by Amy Deamer   [ updated 10 Feb 2017, 02:31 ]

When we return from half-term, the days will hopefully start to feel a little longer, perhaps the sun a little brighter and our Year 9 students will be preparing to make an important decision about their future.

Year 9 is an extremely important year for our students. They have already started studying GCSE lessons in subjects such as English, Maths and Languages. In other subjects they are laying the foundations for their transition to Year 10 and beyond. They will also decide on the pathway that they wish to follow when they move into Year 10. Some will want to select an academic pathway studying subjects such as languages, the sciences and the humanities. Some may select a more artist route by selecting subjects from the arts, media or performing arts. Others may select technology based subjects. All children are different and we believe they deserve the opportunity to study subjects that excite and engage them.

With this in mind, we are determined that our students are able to select the pathway that suits their aspirations, interests and academic ability. We are also determined that our students receive the best possible information, advice and guidance when they make these important choices whenever they move on to the next stage of their education. All of our Year 9 students and their parents will have the opportunity to visit Frinton Campus on Tuesday 28 February for our KS4 Pathways Student and Parent Information Evening and I encourage you to attend.

Mr D Woodcock
Head of Thorpe Campus

From the Principal

posted 3 Feb 2017, 06:17 by Amy Deamer   [ updated 3 Feb 2017, 06:19 ]

Safer Internet Day 2017 will be celebrated globally on Tuesday 7 February. The campaign aims to encourage young people to use technology positively and creatively, whilst promoting responsibility and critical thinking.

The slogan for 2017 states, ‘be the change: unite for a better internet’, and this message will be explored through assemblies and tutor work. It would also be good if the positive use of social media and the internet was reinforced by discussion at home. The internet safety quiz: is ideal as a starting point for such discussions.

Keeping our students safe is a prime concern of mine and the College. I wish to remind everyone that TTC’s policy on illegal drugs and offensive weapons is clear, anyone in possession of such items will face permanent exclusion.

There have been lots of positive events and activities taking place at the College over the last week. Well done to Engaines B team who were victorious in the Primary Schools Chess tournament, which was hosted at our Frinton Campus. It was an excellent day, and all that attended were greatly impressed by our year 10 students who helped to organise the day and look after the young competitors. They were a real credit to the College.

Next week the drama department presents Macbeth. Staff and students have worked tirelessly to produce what promises to be a wonderful performance! The four night run starts on Tuesday 7 and finishes on Friday 10 February. Please do come and support the production, you will not be disappointed. 

Mr M Muldoon


From the Head of Frinton Campus

posted 26 Jan 2017, 06:50 by Amy Deamer   [ updated 26 Jan 2017, 06:51 ]

This week sees the end of the Year 11 trial examinations, for many it will be the end of a very busy two week period where the weeks of preparation and careful planning have paid off and the questions attempted were difficult but not impossible. 

For others the examinations have been a shock to the mind and body, and the sooner they can be forgotten about the better. I can honestly say that I have experienced both the pain and frustration of failing exams and the joy of passing an exam or two. There is no question in my mind which one I prefer and absolutely no doubt which outcome I want for our Year 11 students. 

Whether they are: trial examinations, classroom tests, works of art or drama productions; they all can be improved by acting upon feedback provided by teachers. The grades achieved in the recent exams should not be seen as the end point of the process, they are in fact the start of the next phase of improvement. To help all our students, there are after College sessions run by all departments at Frinton Campus, why not take advantage of this and start to improve your grades by attending today. 

We all need people who will give us feedback. That's how we improve. - Bill Gates 

This week TTC Frinton Campus welcomed Safer Essex Roads Partnership who performed a play entitled ‘Dead End’ the performance highlighted the risks that young drivers and their passengers may face. I would like to thank all Year 11 students who watched the performance with maturity and respect. 

And finally...Checkmate - local primary schools are taking part in the bi-annual chess tournament held at TTC this Thursday. I hope all young players have a great day, I have been dusting off my old chess set in preparation. 

Mr C Collins
Head of Frinton Campus

From the Head of Thorpe Campus

posted 20 Jan 2017, 03:53 by Amy Deamer   [ updated 20 Jan 2017, 03:54 ]

TTCS Preparation for Success

A few weeks ago, I set my Year 9 class revision for their homework as they had an end of unit test the following week. When the sighs and groans had subsided, I asked them why they felt so negatively about ‘revision’. The responses were as you would expect: “it’s boring” being the most common thread. I then asked them how they revised, most said that they read through their notes and some said they never bother. This was perhaps more concerning, especially as in a little over two years they would be preparing for their GCSE exams and, as has been mentioned previously, GCSEs are getting harder with a greater need to retain knowledge.

Preparation for exams is key to success. The dictionary definition of ‘revise’ is: reread work done previously to improve one's knowledge of a subject, typically to prepare for an examination. Which is odd as reading notes is arguably the least effective way of acquiring knowledge, it has been suggested that you remember only 20% of what you read. So what can our children do better to prepare for success in exams?

The following acronym may help: TTCS
Teach - Teaching someone about a topic will typically help you remember up to 90% of what has been taught.

Test - Testing each other helps to improve knowledge and identifies areas for further study.

Connect - Connecting sometimes boring facts to vivid imagery, songs, mnemonics, tastes or even smells can be very effective.

Summarise - Condensing notes into revision cards, mind maps is also effective at building knowledge.

We all learn in different ways so what works for one child, may not work for another. It is therefore essential that our children are encouraged to experiment with techniques from the start of Year 7 so that by the time they reach Year 11, they can prepare effectively for success in their exams.

Mr D Woodcock
Head of Thorpe Campus

From the Principal

posted 13 Jan 2017, 07:59 by Amy Deamer   [ updated 20 Jan 2017, 03:54 ]

Welcome back to College and may I wish you all a Happy New Year.

We have certainly hit the ground running with our Year 11s sitting their trial GCSE examinations. With the move to linear examinations, the reduction or removal of controlled assessments and the greater restrictions on re-sits, it is vital that these examinations are seen as an opportunity to revise subject content and to develop examination techniques. It is also a chance to prepare for the real event in the summer. Now is the time to really up the game, success does not happen without effort.

I was delighted to receive an email from PCSO Diss regarding the actions of our students in assisting an elderly woman who had fallen from her mobility scooter at the Triangle shopping centre. Two of our students assisted the lady, they got blankets from local stores, and they spoke to the emergency services using their mobile phones, PCSO Diss commented, “their diction and instructions concerning the injured lady were exemplary.” They stayed with her for at least 30 minutes and before leaving asked if they were needed any longer. PCSO Diss said he felt the need to inform the College because “I am very mindful that at times students are portrayed sometimes in a negative light. It was wonderful for the general public to see for themselves what great young adults TTC is developing and sending out in to the adult world.” The names of the two students involved are Elle Anderson and Charlotte Lancaster.

Well done to John Bransby who sat a naval recruit examination in Ipswich and not only passed the exam but also was one of the youngest recruits with the highest score they have had in recent years.
A successful career lies ahead for John.

There have been reports in the media about adverse weather. School closure will only happen in exceptional circumstances but please use the warning as an opportunity to make sure that we have your up to date contact details.

Mr M Muldoon

1-10 of 10