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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Next Generation ExpoTees Competition and the ExpoTees Exhibition, Teesside University

Next Generation ExpoTees Competition "An Interactive Hologram"

Next Generation ExpoTees Competition, Teesside University “An Interactive Hologram”

On Wednesday 6th of May four Thornaby Academy students participated in the Next Generation ExpoTees Competition at Teesside University, entitled ‘Education for My Generation’. Jake Gray, Cameron Scott, Shane Campbell and Curtis Campbell decided as a team how they could use computing technology to teach their chosen subject. They prepared their exhibition area, displaying posters and an interactive PowerPoint presentation, which was judged by Teesside University staff and final year ExpoTees exhibitors. Although the boys did not win the competition the School of Computing’s academic staff stated how impressed they were with the “quality of work, confidence, knowledge and enthusiasm” of those students at Thornaby Academy!!


ExpoTees Exibition, Teesside University

On Thursday 14th May Year 9 Roseberry classes descended on ExpoTees, an annual event showcasing Undergraduate talent within the School of Computing at Teesside University. It was an exciting and highly interactive exhibition, in which Thornaby Academy students benefited from learning the different pathways into emerging technology in computer science, digital media and web, games and animation.  Our students had the opportunity to meet the Undergraduates joining industry this year and spoke with them regarding their projects, viewed their portfolios and listened to their ideas.

Year 10 Spring Academy Programme at Durham University

Durham-1Two of Thornaby Academy’s Year 10 students, Melisssa Parkes and Gurpreet Singh successfully applied to undertake the Year 10 Spring Academy Programme at Durham University.

This was a fantastic residential opportunity for our talented students. The students resided at one of Durham University’s colleges and gained experience of student life, as well as targeted sessions on key topics for their year group.

The students chose taster sessions in Anthropology, English and Geology, as well as participating in an ‘Entrepreneurial Enrichment’, in which they designed and pitched ideas for a new app. and ‘Learning the Basics of Italian Enrichment. ’

The students thoroughly enjoyed their stay at the prestigious University;

“It was a great experience, giving me an insight into studying at University level.”               (Melissa Parkes)

“I enjoyed learning about the skills needed to study at University and found out the grade requirements for certain subjects to be very helpful.”                                                         (Gurpreet Singh)


Thornaby Academy Celebrates the 70th Anniversary of VE Day

On Friday 8th May, Thornaby Academy celebrated the 70th anniversary of VE Day. To mark this special occasion, the school welcomed residents from the Woodside Care Home in Thornaby. The event was organised over a two-week period and ran by a team of student leaders and hub representatives who planned the entertainment, which included dancers and a solo singing performance, and refreshments (traditional cake and tea) for the residents to enjoy.

After the event came to a close, the residents stated that they “thoroughly enjoyed the day and hope that there a more events like this in the future”.

During the school day, we also ran a ‘Bake for Heroes’ cake sale where many cakes, badges and wristbands were sold, raising £74.40 for the Help for Heroes charity.

Many thanks to all staff and student leaders who made this event possible.

By: Melissa Parkes and Luke Marsden (Executive Student Leaders)





Question Time Event

Who will represent South Stockton after the General Election on 7th May?


The four local candidates for the South Stockton constituency were invited into the Academy on Tuesday 28th April for a Question Time event.

Louise Baldock – Labour


James Wharton – Conservative


Drew Durning – Liberal Democrats


Ted Strike – UKIP (unfortunately he could not attend)

Our students asked them a number of questions.

After each question students voted as to who they felt gave the best responses.

Click on the images below to view the results.


Tae Kwondo Gold Medalists

Y8 student Sam Kapadi along with 2 other teammates including Kaitlyn Gibson of Y9 took part in a local patterns competition in Spennymoor last weekend in Tae Kwando.

The team were very successful and came away with the Gold medal.

A huge congratulations to the whole team but especially Kaitlyn and Sam for making Thornaby Academy proud.

Sam with his Gold medal

Sam with his Gold medal

Choc-Box Enterprise Challenge


Chocolate tasting whilst studying the Project Brief

Five prospective Business students participated in the ‘Choc-Box Enterprise Challenge’ at Teesside University on the 25th March 2015. The students worked together as a team to re-launch an existing chocolate product in a new and innovative way.

After sampling the products and using their senses to determine the flavour of each chocolate, students discussed and decided on their target market and pricing policy. A name was agreed for the product, as well as individual product names for each chocolate. Our students decided on Sweet Surprise which included ‘Outstanding orange,’ ‘Cream Caramel’, ‘Nutty Galore’, ‘Fabulous Fudge’ and ‘Chewtastic Caramel’ chocolates.

Congratulations to Saffia Pawlett, Leoni Thornton, Kaitlin Oliver Williams, Vicki McTomney and Cameron Sharp for presenting their product and marketing strategy in a 5 minute, engaging presentation to the University Tutors and other school groups within the Stockon-On-Tees borough.

Engineers on major local road project inspire Thornaby pupils

Civil engineers involved in one of the region’s major highway improvement schemes are passing on their skills to local school pupils.

Representatives from the collaborative team delivering the A19/A174 Parkway Junction Improvement scheme near Middlesbrough paid a visit to Thornaby Academy to inspire and motivate younger students to take up a career in science or engineering.

The team includes employees from the client the Highways Agency, designer AECOM, contractor Costain and the A19 maintenance and operation concessionaire Autolink. The workshops will take place this week with students to build a model bridge.

The event is part of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) North East ‘Bridges to Schools’ initiative, which teaches young people about bridge construction, teamwork and civil engineering.

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GAT Event Thursday 26th February

On Thursday 26th February, Thornaby Academy welcomed visitors from Teesside University and local businesses to create an ‘Apprentice’ style event with Gifted, Able and Talented students. At the start of the day, the students were given their brief- ‘Design a business enterprise use for the £200 Breakfast Club grant’.

For the rest of the day, students worked in mixed year group teams, supported by Teesside University Ambassadors, to generate their idea, develop the key components of their business plan and produce a video diary documenting their learning.

In the afternoon, a judging panel made up of a team of local experts viewed all ideas and presentations at the end of the Academy day alongside parents/carers and Academy staff. Students did an excellent job in pitching their ideas and explaining their journey from initial idea to final plan. The judging panel found it incredibly difficult to choose a winner as all ideas had been impressive, however they did chose ‘Team Invicta’ as winners. The winning team included Saffia Pawlett, Bethan Oliver-Williams, Habib Safi, Jake Porter and Katie Trainer.

This group will now work with Mr Collins and Miss Geragusian to spend their £200 grant and implement their business plan within the Academy.

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Sky Sports Mentor ‘Amanda Coulson’ visits TA sport leaders

Last week the Sports Leaders were lucky enough to spend the day with Olympic Boxer Amanda Coulson. She taught them the 6 keys to success and helped them plan and deliver a KS2 primary school session on the afternoon to students of Harewood Primary.

Amanda’s story was so inspirational’ (Chloe Reynolds, Y10)

We are in our fourth year partnership with the Sky Sports Mentor program and looking forward to next years visit already.