Welcome from Principal Maryssa O’Connor

IMG_9774Here at Thornaby Academy we aim to provide an exciting and inspirational environment for young people to learn and succeed. The staff at the Academy work closely as a team to support and guide our young people as they experience a diverse and challenging curriculum which will provide them with every opportunity to achieve their personal best.

Students at Thornaby Academy are at the centre of a community which includes the support of our lead sponsor, Teesside University and co-sponsors, Stockton Sixth Form College, Stockton Riverside College and Stockton Borough Council.

Together the sponsors and the Academy maintain five core values:

  • To seek excellence and the achievement of the highest educational standards for all students.
  • To provide opportunity and raise students’ aspirations.
  • To gain respect and achieve inclusivity for all members of the Academy community.
  • To empower students as learners and teachers as professionals.
  • To work in partnership with local schools and organisations.

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Student Leadership Elections

Students at the Academy spent today voting for their Hub Representatives.  This week potential candidates have been campaigning for votes.  The election was completed in a similar way to General Elections to give students an insight into government and politics.

Announcements will be made via the Academy website and Apple TVs on Monday 20th October.



Young leaders complete Boccia officiating course

On Thursday 16th October, 8 Young Sport Leaders attended a Young officials Award in Boccia. This is a disability sport which encourages inclusion within PE/Sport across the world. The Young Leaders spent the whole day learning how to play the game as well as officiating it. In early November, the students will volunteer and help run the Stockton Schools Boccia festival for students across the Stockton Borough. Watch this space for a new article along with pictures of the Leaders in action.

Well done to everyone involved!

Year 6 Open Evening

A massive thank you to all parents and pupils for coming along to our Open Evening on Monday. We had a great time showing you our Academy and everything we have to offer. You gave us some amazing feedback too, almost 90% of you said that Thornaby Academy is your first choice for secondary school – brilliant! We can’t wait to see you all in Year 7!  Thanks also to the Vice-Chancellor of Teesside University, Professor Graham Henderson for attending and supporting the Academy. As the lead sponsor for Thornaby Academy, it was wonderful to hear how proud of the Academy they are and the fast paced journey we have been on.

The best endorsements, as always, come from our students.  Thank you to Jordan Laing and Jessica Fox for coming along. Jessica left the Academy in 2013 with exceptional results and is now studying A levels at Stockton Sixth Form College.  Jordan completed his GCSEs in 2012 and is also a graduate of Stockton Sixth Form College. We are so proud of his achievements – he has just started his Degree in Medicine at Durham University and intends to qualify as a GP, we can’t wait to see him back!

Finally, thank you to our visitors who took the time to give us some feedback, we’re delighted that you enjoyed the evening.  You said:

‘The school is fantastic and we look forward to our youngest child coming here. You have given our eldest so much support, thank you’

‘Teachers were outstanding.  Me and my family really enjoyed the night. Thank You!’

‘Fantastic school and staff!’

‘The academy looked great and we’re looking forward to our son enjoying the experiences he can achieve throughout his school, years at Thornaby Academy’

And of course, we were delighted to award the £100 Asda voucher to the very lucky parent at Thornaby Church of England School – happy Christmas shopping!

Behaviour and Attendance Team Coffee Morning

Dear Parents and Carers

You are all invited to join the behaviour and attendance team at Thornaby Academy for our first coffee morning. Please come and join us between 9.30 and 10.30am on Wednesday 22/10/14. This will be an excellent opportunity to meet the team in an informal setting and share any concerns, worries or successes.

The Behaviour and Attendance Team.

Thornaby pupils get creative with WWI centenary project


Over 120 pupils from primary schools across Thornaby are commemorating this year’s WWI centenary through a unique creative arts project organised by Thornaby Academy.

Year 6 pupils from Bader Primary School, Harewood Primary School and Thornaby CoE Primary School are completing individual workshops around music, dance, drama and theatre production to help remember local soldiers who did not return from World War One.

The pupils will also be addressing themes from war; including conflict, women in industry and evacuation, working in conjunction with professional vocal coaches, dramatists and percussionists to produce a final showcase to be performed in front of family and school staff at the Academy on Thursday 9th October.

Maryssa O’Connor, Principal of Thornaby Academy, said: “Remembering those who fought for our country has been of significant importance in this centenary year. This project will help some of the community’s younger generation to learn more about the huge consequences of World War One in a creative way.

“We look forward to seeing all schools come together for their final performance.”


Archer’s Jersey Ice Cream Experience

Business students meet the Jersey Milking herd

Business students meet the Jersey Milking herd

On Tuesday the 23rd of September 2014 the Business GCSE class ventured on their first business experience to the Award Winning Archer’s Jersey Ice Cream, New Moore Farm, Darlington.

The business produces and supplies outstanding, high quality ice cream to specialist retail outlets, Hotels, Restaurants and Cafés and have on occasions worked with Chefs to develop unique flavours for special menus.

Sue Archer, owner of Archer’s Ice Cream, delivered an engaging presentation to the students about the history of their business and the production of ice cream form cow to cone. A tour of the farm then followed in which we were introduced to the milking Jersey cows, before sampling the award winning ice cream.

A questionnaire following the trip showed that all students thoroughly enjoyed the Archer’s Ice Cream experience. Some student’s comments are stated below;

The aspect I enjoyed was having the discussion with Sue the owner as she gave detailed descriptions and explanations surrounding the basis of setting up a business. I also enjoyed tasting the business’ locally-renowned product (ice-cream) as it fulfilled the high expectations”

 “To know that it actually takes a lot of effort to make a successful business”

Many thanks to Sue and all her staff at New Moore farm.

TA Field Day 2014







Saturday 13th September saw the return of the annual ‘TA’s Field Day’ community event organised by students and staff. The day proved to be more popular than ever, with well over 1,000 students, parents and members of the community coming along.

The Academy ‘Street’ was packed with stalls and activities organised and ran by the students on an ‘international’ theme, including Japanese robot grabbers, an Australian ‘I’m a Celebrity’ style bug eating challenge and a ‘Bollywood’ section, as well as all the old favourites such as face painting, delicious cupcakes and many more.

As well as the indoor activities, there were also fairground rides, giant inflatables, a skate park, a climbing wall, unicycling, Shetland pony rides and an exciting visit from the Police helicopter. Students also made the most of the state-of-the-art facilities within the Academy, with regular live musical and dance performances on the ‘Street’ and a wide selection of international food and drink.

Everybody who came along had a great day and helped raise a lot of money for Butterwick Hospice, Eastern Ravens Trust and Marie Curie Cancer Care. Students embodied the Academy’s Enterprise culture throughout, with skills such as organisation, teamwork, managing money and a ‘can do’ attitude used in abundance.

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Friends break Academy A* record


A close friendship group at Thornaby Academy has smashed the school record after helping to secure the Academy’s highest number of A*s and As at GCSE.

Zoe Trainer, Calum Thomas, Demi Paterson, Emily Barlow and Gurpreet Gill earned a collective 32 A* and A grades.

Zoe, the Academy’s highest achiever, was picked to study towards an A-level in Mathematics as part of the academy’s Gifted, Able and Talented programme after securing a A* in the subject earlier this year. She picked up a B grade in her advanced bridging studies as well as a further 11 A*-A grade GCSEs.

Calum, who juggled his studies alongside completing his Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award, shone in his STEM subjects, attaining top grades in ICT, Computing, Mathematics and Double Science.

All of the group will follow in each other’s footsteps as they study A-levels at Stockton Sixth Form College from September.

Maryssa O’Connor, Principal of Thornaby Academy, said:

“Our high flying students are testament to the Academy’s ‘can-do’ ethos and have all secured remarkable results. They should be very proud of their outstanding achievement.”

The Academy also saw early-entry Year 10 students receive top A* grades. Megan Eden and Yiting Yang secured 5 A*s between them.








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Former Yr 11 Students successfully complete the VENTURE Programme




On the 7th of July former Year 11 students  successfully completed the “VENTURE  programme” in association with Stockton  Borough Council. The programme was  designed to  assist young individuals  develop a career  portfolio for their journey  into the working  environment.

“It was very informative, learning about different skills and how to build my career portfolio for job interviews” (Calum Thomas)

Congratulations to the following students who achieved  Leve1 of the One Awards in Skills Training and Personal Development; Abdhul Kohal, Calum Thomas, Chloe Frater, Courtney Lightfoot, Jack Dyer, Jade Earl, Jordan Hill and Shannon Colligan

“The course has improved my confidence, especially in preparation for interviews         and I now know the difference between a skill and a quality.”(Jack Dyer)

Students were rewarded with a £50 voucher and the opportunity to participate in a x2 night residential in August at the Kingswood Centre, Hexham. The centre will encourage and develop their enterprise skills through Outdoor Ed. activities.

“I definitely improved my enterprise and employability skills, as well as making new friends (Abdul Khokhar)

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Thornaby Academy Y11 Prom 2014

balloons_balloonfaceMonday 30th June saw the annual Year 11 Leavers’ Prom take place at Crathorne Hall for the Class of 2014, in which the Year 11 students celebrated their five years at the Academy. The evening started impressively with students arriving in a vast array of different vehicles, cheered on by a number of friends and family; the boys looked sharp and cool in their suits and the girls looked stunning and glamorous in their dresses.

Crathorne Hall hosted a fantastic evening. Students arrived to a drinks reception, which was followed by a lovely buffet, balloon release, magician, novelty photobooth and a disco ended the evening. The event was a great way for staff and students alike to mark the end of Year 11 students’ time at the Academy. A wonderful night was had by all and great memories were made.

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