County Firefighters have been ‘blown away’ by talents of a Pool Academy student

Cornwall Firefighters have been ‘blown away’ after a Pool Academy student took part in their fitness tests.

Ryan Mills, from year 10, has been called a ‘fantastic young lad’ after impressing at the Have A Go day, at Tolvaddon Fire Service Headquarters, recently.

The youngster signed himself up to take part in physical sessions which included tasters of national tests the fire service use when recruiting adult firefighters.

This included lifting ladders, climbing up ladders, putting on masks, completing breathing apparatus routes as well as running dressed in full firefighter equipment.

Kathryn Billing, Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service Group Manager Human Resources and Training, said Ryan was a credit to his school.

She said: “As part of our recruitment process we run Have A Go days.

“Ryan came along and he absolutely blew us away.

“He enrolled himself, took his own initiative and filled out all the paperwork.

 “He blew us away with the tests. The instructors, who facilitated the tests, are firefighters with
10 to 25 years’ experience and they all said what an absolutely, unbelievable young lad he was.”

Kathryn said it was a shame they couldn’t recruit him yet.

“We had no idea how old he was,” she said. “He conducted himself in such a professional and mature way.

“We wish we could do more to support his development.”

Ryan said: “Someone sent me a message to tell me the day was happening and I thought ‘why not give it a go?’. 

“It was a good day. 

“Firefighting is something I am thinking of doing when I'm older. I'd like to be involved with the emergency services.”

Ryan says he knows a few people who are firefighters. He enjoys taking part in a number of sports to keep himself fit.

Kathryn said: “We wanted to let Pool Academy know what a fantastic young man he was and what an impact he made on us.

“What a credit he is to himself and a credit to Pool Academy.”

Pool Academy mascot boldly goes where no bear has gone before.

Pool Academy’s mascot Buzz the Bear has boldly gone where no Pool Academy bear has gone before after being launched into the edge of space.

The bear was strapped onto a helium weather balloon and sent 20 miles up into space on Friday (MAY 12) to capture images of the school and its surroundings.

The space mission, called Project Infinity, was watched by about 100 students and members of staff when the countdown began at morning break. Despite the cloudy and windy weather conditions the launch was a success and a box containing Buzz and a camera floated away up into the sky.

The camera took photographs every minute capturing spectacular views from its position in the sky. Buzz was then tracked by GPS so he could be picked up from wherever he landed.

Phil Jones, from Pool Academy, said: “Buzz was launched successfully and headed to space. 

“We tracked him at the edge of space as the balloon burst and parachute deployed.

“Unfortunately some gusts at lower altitudes took him at the last minute out to sea off Boscastle.”

The bear and the technical equipment landed in the ocean and floated up country until it was washed up on the beach in Bude.

Mr Jones said: “Buzz was found on Bude Beach on Saturday morning by a lady with her metal detector. “We never expected to get it back.”

Although Buzz spent some time in the sea many photographs and videos taken during its journey have been salvaged.

The recent launch was the result of two years of hard work, trials and experiments led by Year 10 student Alfie Baker. He took on the project during his morning and lunch breaks.
Phil said the project would never have got this far if it wasn’t for the enthusiasm of Alfie.

Alfie, who would like to work in engineering in the future, said: “I have been working on the project for two years. 

“I hoped it was going to land on land but it didn’t. I didn’t think I would get it back when it landed in the sea so it is nice to get it back again.

“I was elated when we got it back.

“When we sent it up it was windy and cloudy, I hope to do it again to get better photographs next time.”

Buzz the bear experienced a bumpy ride on his mission but only sustained a minor injury to one of his leg seams. It’s hoped he will be ready again for his next mission, Project Infinity 2, planned to take place in the future.


Pool Academy teachers brought marshmallows and spaghetti to class when they visited a Camborne primary school recently.

Pupils from Rosemellin Community Primary School, in Camborne, learnt earthquakes don’t cause injuries, it’s the buildings that do, in a special geography workshop run by Pool Academy.

Amy Sparrow, head of Geography at Pool Academy, and Katherine Boase, Geography teacher, were invited to teach year 3 and 4 pupils on the shaky subject. 
They challenged the children to build the tallest and strongest earthquake structure using just marshmallows and spaghetti.

Mrs Boase said: “The school pupils had been learning about earthquakes last term so I offered for Miss Sparrow and myself to go and teach.

“We talked about how earthquakes don’t cause injury to people it’s the buildings collapsing that do.

“We did a little presentation and then the children worked in groups of three or four. They were given spaghetti and marshmallows to make earthquake buildings.

“There was a prize for the strongest structure and tallest structure that withstood the earthquakes.

“They had a really good time and they loved it. They were really engaged with the workshop.
“It was hard for them not to eat the marshmallows though.”

During the workshop the youngsters also learnt phrases such as tectonic hazards and flexible foundations. The geography teachers linked the subject to Italy as this was another topic pupils were learning about.

Mrs Boase said: “We hope to go out and do more primary school workshops.”

One pupil from Rosemellin Community Primary School said: “It was a really fun lesson and I hope we get to do something like that again.”

Another added: “We really enjoyed the lesson because we got to make our own buildings using spaghetti and marshmallows.”

Nationally celebrated Head teacher retiring after 17 years.

The dedicated Principal of Pool Academy has announced she will be retiring after 17 years at the school.

Zelma Hill will be leaving at the end of the summer term ending a career spanning 37 years.

Staff and Governors, have been sending messages of thanks for her years of service to the community.

Mrs Hill, who won the Pearson Education Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2012, said: “Being a teacher is the best job in the world.

“It has been a real privilege working with such wonderful young people, amazing, talented staff and wonderful supportive governors.

“I always look forward to coming to work as every day is different and our community is such a special one.”

Mrs Hill first started working in education in 1980, aged 22, after training as a primary school teacher. Her first job was at an 11-18 comprehensive school in Walsall.  In 1985 she moved to Plymouth to work in the newly opened Lipson Community College. Mrs Hill became Head of Science at Stoke Damerel School, in Plymouth, in 1989.

She said. “I have always loved teaching Science.”

In 1994 she became Vice Principal of Plymstock School, in Plymouth, where she was a national finalist in the Teacher of the Year 2001 for working with Business and the community.

In September 2001 she was appointed as Head teacher at Pool School, which under her leadership became an Academy in 2011.

Mrs Hill said: “I wanted to be a school leader in order to improve the lives and opportunities for young people.

“Working with the community in Pool was also really important to me.”

Mr Nick Lake, Chair of Governors, said: “Mrs Hill is retiring at the end of the academic year after 17 years of highly successful and dedicated service to Pool Academy as Principal.

“I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the governors, staff, students, parents and carers to thanks Mrs Hill for everything she has given the school during this time.”

Claire Meakin, current Vice Principal, will take over the role from September this year.
She has worked at the Academy for more than eight years.

Olympic Athlete Visits Pool Academy

World Championships Gold medallist Annie Vernon visited Pool Academy recently to help inspire students in sports.

The Olympic rower spent the day with students focusing on six keys to success in mental toughness.

During the morning she worked with 20 Gifted and Talented Sports students from Year 7 before meeting 15 girls from Year 9 and Year 10.

In the afternoon Annie met with some of the local primary schools.

“I really enjoyed my trip to Pool Academy,” said Annie. “I was blown away by the enthusiasm of the students who took part with the Sky Sports Living for Sport programme and also the commitment of the staff team to support them in that.”

Sharon Bright, from Pool Academy, said: “The groups loved the day which focused on the six keys to success mental toughness; hunger to achieve, people skills, sports and life knowledge, breaking barriers, planning for success and how to make the most of opportunities.

“This visit has inspired the students about making the most of opportunities and aspiring to achieve their maximum potential in their sports.”

Annie is a rower who achieved Gold in the 2007 World Championships and a silver in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

She came fifth in the London Olympics in 2012.

The athlete grew up in Cornwall and went to school in Wadebridge.

Her visit was part of the Sky Living for Sport Project. The six keys to success are designed to help young people develop valuable life skills that will help them in and outside of school, now and into the future.


A photographer from Pool Academy has seen her seaside picture selected for a postcard design. Neve, in Year 9, entered her image of the sea, sand and lighthouse into a competition run by the academy to find a new design for the Geography Postcards.

More than 30 students entered the competition but Neve’s picture stood out as the top winner. It will now be reproduced and used on some of the postcards Pool Academy sends home to celebrate excellent work.

The image will also be used as Pool Academy’s Geography Facebook cover photograph.

Neve said she enjoyed taking photographs.

Kirstie Conway-Baker, Geography teacher, said: “We had over 35 entries for the competition. Neve's photo showed not only the physical geography of the beach and different sediment types but also the lighthouse as well.”

Neve was also given 30 achievement points for winning.

Cornwall Teacher Awards

Celebrations were in the air when staff from Pool Academy attended the Cornwall Teaching awards ceremony.

Peter Wilson, from the Academy’s ICT department, and David Buckingham, from the Science department, headed to Truro for the Cornwall Teacher Awards 2017 recently.

Mr Wilson received 'Highly Commended’ in the Education Support Worker of the Year category and Mr Buckingham was awarded ‘Highly Commended’ for Outstanding Teacher of the Year.

Mr Wilson, who has worked at Pool Academy for five years, said: “I had no idea I had been nominated. It was a lovely surprise to find out I had made the shortlist and been invited to attend the awards.

“It was very uplifting to be considered for this award and demonstrates how highly Pool Academy values its staff.

“To have been nominated and shortlisted is a great honour.”

Mr Buckingham, who has been at Pool Academy for two years, said: “The Academy had a number of nominations last year and it was great to be able to follow in their footsteps this year.

“It was a great honour to be nominated for this award.

“It was a great evening in fantastic surroundings and one that I feel proud to have attended.”

Mr Wilson added: “It was a wonderful evening in the grand surroundings of Truro Cathedral where the achievements of schools, staff and governors were recognised and celebrated.

“Staff at schools do fantastic work caring, educating and supporting our children and it was great to hear so many stories of inspirational staff on the night.”

The ceremony was held at Truro Cathedral and hosted by Daphne Skinnard, from BBC Radio Cornwall.

The event, which is held to recognise excellence in education in Cornwall, is now in its second year.

Nikki Baron, Business Development Director at EMPRA, said:  "These remarkable individuals are an inspiration to us all, they are changing lives and giving pupils and students in Cornwall incredible support and encouragement – far more than is on their job descriptions. To be shortlisted is a substantial achievement, so if you know any of them, please congratulate them."

Past and Present Pool Academy Staff Members Complete Marathons for Charity

Hundreds of pounds have been handed over to charity after two runners from Pool Academy completed marathons recently.

Emily Field, a former PE teacher, and Christiana Richardson, media coordinator, are celebrating after each raising cash for their chosen charities. Emily ran the London Marathon this year in aid of Front Line Emergency Equipment Trust and, with her team, has so far raised more than £4,000.

Christiana completed the Brighton Marathon to help raise more than £600 for local charity The SUsie Project. It was the first time either of them had ever run a marathon. Christiana completed the 26.2 mile challenge in four hours and 51 minutes and Emily finished in five hours and two minutes.

Emily said “What a brilliant experience for my first marathon. The feeling I got when I crossed the finishing line honestly made me so happy and I had done FLEET proud.”

Christiana said: “The marathon took place on one of the hottest day of the year so far and so getting round the course was tough. Knowing I was running for such a good cause as well as receiving lots of lovely support helped me get round. I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who sponsored me and those who encouraged me during
my six months of training.”

The SUsie Project which provides support to survivors of Domestic Abuse and helps to re-build shattered lives and  regain self-esteem and confidence Emily ran for the FLEET charity which works to upgrade and standardise equipment on Cornwall’s ambulances. This means they have vital equipment to help save lives across the county.

Fleet, with British Heart Foundation, has helped create and equip First Responders who have helped cut emergency response times by three percent to help save more lives.

For more information about FLEET visit and visit to find out more about The SUsie Project.

Student at Pool Academy Awarded Martial Arts Trophy

A student at Pool Academy has been heralded after receiving a martial arts trophy.

Poppy, aged 12, was honoured at her GTI Taekwondo club recently with The Grading Examiners
Award for her attendance, effort and determination.

Poppy, who is in Year 7, has been attending classes at the club, held at Pool Academy, for about five years. The Grading Examiners Award is only given to one member of her local GTI Taekwondo group and this year Poppy was chosen. She also gained her Black Tag belt, which is the last grading before achieving a Black Belt.

Her parents and teachers say they are very proud of her latest achievement. Poppy is now planning to travel to Derby in October to achieve her Black Belt.

Zelma Hill, Pool Academy Principal, said: “I am very proud of Poppy. It is a great achievement. We encourage student participation in all sports at Pool Academy.”

In the past five years of training with the club Poppy has taken part in competitions and won medals including a bronze for sparring. 

Mini Explorers Land At Pool Academy

Tents, torches and magnifying glasses were at the ready when mini explorers visited Pool Academy.

Youngsters from Roskear Primary School, in Camborne, used their imaginations to transform themselves into creatures from another planet as part of a creative writing workshop. 
The eighteen pupils were encouraged to clamber through foliage and hide out under canvas at Pool Academy. 

The workshop was held to help inspire the pupils into writing creatively. Kim Butler, More Able Coordinator from Roskear Primary School, said: "They absolutely loved it. The workshop was all about space and the children had tents in the classrooms where they pretended
to be in a rocket. When they went outside they had to pick three things to use to use for their creative writing. The children found it really interesting and enjoyed it. It was really good because the more they get used to going into secondary schools the less daunting
the schools will become.”

Miss Butler said when the children arrived back at the primary school they asked teachers to photocopy their work so they could take it home.
She said: “They wanted to take some of the work home to do more writing. They loved it and wanted to do it again.”

A spokesperson for Pool Academy said: “We had the primary school in to do a creative writing
workshop with tents, torches, magnifying glasses. The workshop saw them going out into the
gardens to pretend they were miniatures from another planet who had landed on planet earth.”

Pool Academy student helps secure thousands of pounds for charity

A Pool Academy student is celebrating after helping to scoop thousands of pounds for charity.
Francesca Goff is a member of Time2Shine, run by Cornwall Accessible Activities Programme (CAAP), which has been handed a grant of £46, 6500 from The People’s Project. 
The 15 year old helped bag the money after urging as many people as possible to vote for CAAP’s Time2Shine project. She created posters, had a stall at Pool Market, travelled to Newquay and visited friends and family asking for their support.

Pool Academy also displayed flyers across its building to get people involved.
Francesca’s mother, Annmarie, said: “We gave posters to all our neighbours. We made a hundred copies and gave them out. We also shared information about it online and on Facebook and did a lot of publicity. We asked family, friends and neighbours to send in postal votes.”

Francesca enjoys the group provided by CAAP, based in Newquay, and was happy to hear her efforts had paid off.

Annmarie said: “Francesca loves Time2Shine and has friends there. They do so many activities.
“We were on our way to Hull for a dance competition when we heard Time2Shine had been given the money. We are very proud of Francesca and want to say a big thank you to everyone that voted, it will mean so much.”

Sandy Lawrence, a director at Cornwall Accessible Activities Program, said: “We decided to apply for £46,650 to support some of our older disabled young people to run CAAP for us.
Francesca was instrumental in getting people to vote. She also took part in the promotional video taken by Westcountry television and that day she was in charge of taking the photographs of the event.”

It’s planned to use the cash to help offer structured outdoor activities and events for young people with disabilities and support older participants become deputies for the service.  This will give skills for future life and employment. It will also provide children and young people with role models, boosting their confidence and aspirations. 

Sandy said: “The shiners will choose, commission, market and deliver a number of activities over the summer and October holidays and will build a portfolio of achievement along with a reference they can take to an employer."  

“The project will end next Easter and will culminate in a graduation ceremony which the shiners will organise themselves. We are very much looking forward to working with Francesca and helping to build her portfolio of achievement.”

Dawn Austwick, Big Lottery Fund Chief Executive, said: “We are proud to be supporting this year’s winners in The People’s Projects. They are using National Lottery funding to bring people together and give them the opportunity to build their skills, make new friends and learn from one another. We want to congratulate these great projects and look forward to seeing the positive difference they make to local communities.” 

Budding authors journey to the gateway to space to find inspiration

Budding authors from Pool Academy have been looking to the skies for inspiration as they prepare for a national competition.

Ten talented students from year 8, 9 and 10 have been selected to put pen to paper for the creative writing competition, called Wonderland, which could see them winning £1,000.

In a search to find inspiration for the challenge the youngsters took a tour of Goonhilly Earth Station. Paula Bolton, the station’s resident artist, took them on a tour of the site, sharing stories, facts, ideas and her own prints.

Students learnt about the history of the site, its future, deep space communication and even the hunt for alien life.

Holly, 14, said: “I never knew there was so much to satellites."

“The visit to Goonhilly Earth Station was great inspiration for starting points for our stories about another world.”

The students have been writing for the Wonderland competition which invites people aged 11 to 18 to write a mini saga about other worlds in less than 100 words.

Top prizes include first prize of £1,000, second prize of £500, third prize of £250 and a Kindle Fire HD for the top five writers.

Paula Bolton said: “I was delighted to host 10 students from Pool Academy who were gathering information for their writing project.“

"Historically Goonhilly Earth Station on the Lizard provides a unique location and leading edge in Space Technology and things ‘Out of this World’.  As Artist in Residence I am inspired to visualise the invisible and create site specific works and hope that these young people were equally inspired to compose exceptional stories of unexpected phenomena.”

A spokesperson for Pool Academy said: “The students had a wonderful time at Goonhilly Earth
Station and have now finished writing their stories. "

“After the tour, the minibus back to school was silent, apart from the scratch of pen on paper as the students scribbled down their ideas. We wish them luck in them luck in the competition and wait with baited breath for the results.”