Law Visits

Year 12 students have recently welcomed two former A Level Law students who came to speak about their experiences to AS Law and Business Studies students. Calum Ross, currently at the University of Law, Bristol, explained how the unique experiences he had while a student at the college enabled him to stand out from the crowd in his applications to universities. He singled out his exchange visit to Japan and a college trip to Ecuador, and particularly his work as Head Boy, as significant formative experiences that taught him presentational skills and the ability to work with groups of different people. Calum had some very useful advice for current students – make the most of what Tavistock College has to offer, and start your revision early!

Lara Hopkins, at present at Exeter University studying Law, came to speak about her life as a student so far, including successfully completing the Oxbridge application process, to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford. Lara also spoke about making the most of university life, making friends through societies and sport, and planning funding through university. She explained how important it is to take up opportunities relating to potential employment, and how to succeed in the interview process – be confident and be yourself. The most important advice she gave was work hard, attend all lectures and complete all work, and then play hard to make the most of the university experience. It has obviously worked well for Lara, who has recently been offered a training contract with Clifford Chance, one of the top London law firms, to work in the field of commercial law.

Both of these former students, now high achievers, provided inspiration for the year 12s as they are considering their own futures after Tavistock College – the plan being to aim high.

Royal Geographical Society visits Tavistock

On 30th November the geography department hosted two ambassadors from the Royal Geographical Society (Where Paddington Bear goes in London to look for films on Peru!).

Grace and Emily, minus Paddington Bear spent the day with year 7, 8, 10 classes as well as sixth formers looking at the role of geography in society, the responsibility geography has in a sustainable future as
well as careers opportunities from studying the topic.

Through interactive sessions and geography games, RGS Ambassador Grace hopes to return to college in the New Year with the year 9s.

The year 8s reviewed their session Jacob “their use of geographical knowledge and experience made our
workshop great fun”

Becky “there’s no job that we could think of that doesn’t include elements of geography”

Mia “I thought it was good that they gave us a clear understanding on what they do and how we could become like them”.

Paolo “I likes it when we were doing activities about countries”

Mrs Froud


Martin Dawes visit

Former BBC foreign correspondent and Unicef senior communication officer Martin Dawes, now an Advocacy adviser at CDAC network, came into College to talk to A level geographers all about the future of disaster response, focusing on Ebola and its management for their Human Health at Risk unit.

Martin said after ‘I hope they justify their efforts with great results’.

It was a terrific opportunity for the geographers being able to work with a renown and leading author and adviser in the field that they are currently studying.

Alice “ A rare and brilliant opportunity”
Jerry “Fact filled fun. Knowledge is power”
Alice “Martin was really engaging and gave us a fascinating insight into the origin of Ebola. At the same time diminishing the media’s myths on the disease”
Sophie “ a highly intellectual insight into a topic I have only seen through the media”.
Ellie “Today allowed me to form a new and more perceptive opinion about Ebola, as Martin provided us with a detailed insight into a world behind the media”.
Poppy “Martin Dawes’s talk on Ebola was both interesting and informative, as well as full of enthusiasm”.
Tash “Very detailed and up to date information which is really helpful and interesting!”.
Tom “Very engaging, informative and eye opening”.

Mrs Froud

Iceland 2015

Leaving College at 4am on a mild Sunday in October, A2 geographers landed in Iceland before midday to snow covered grounds. Meeting our tour guide Gunnar and our coach driver Svanur we proceeded to the Reykjanes Peninsula, almost completely covered with lava flows, walking up lava cones and craters just as Neil Armstrong had done in training before his mission to the Moon. After lunch we discovered Krysuvik Geothermal Field where the steaming vents, fumaroles and mud pots bubbled away, whilst the snow fell on us, including Midnight the Owl, our trip mascot. Our first and last nights were within a wonderful hotel in Reykjavik (with great Wi-Fi much to the joy of the Tweeters!).

Monday morning we awoke to brilliant blue sky, sunshine, calm seas and three hours of whale watching. Whited beaked Dolphins, Harbour Porpoises and a Minke whale later we warmed up from our -5oC experience with lunch at the Thingvellir National Park, drinking water directly from the fresh pure lake. Before moving on to the Strokkur Geysir where water sprouts and sprays 35m every 3-8 minutes, and arriving at the star attraction of the famous Gullfoss waterfall for sunset, where the river drops 32m. We then proceeded to Hvolsvollur, where after a session of karaoke we settled into our log cabins which were to be our home for the next two nights.

Walking along the Glacier snout of the Solheimajokull Glacier before arriving at Vik and Reynisdrangar the sea stacks, rising 66m metres out of the sea, which is the most southerly point of mainland Iceland, we proceeded to do a spot of Pilates on the black pebbled beach and tried a delicacy of local (sustainable) shark. Learning about the Folklore stories of Trolls and the Hidden Folk was reinforced by a visit to the Skogar Folk Museum, where the 4′ high doors were a struggle for some students, but not all staff! After climbing the steps to view the stunning 60m high Skogafoss waterfall we visited a geothermally heated swimming pool before returning to have a Onesie night at our accommodation, complete with glow-sticks as we had not yet managed to witness the Northern Lights, so we created our own!

Gunnar and Svanur had to leave us this evening replaced by Arni and ‘Joe’, but before they departed they told us that Tavistock Students were some of the best that they had ever experienced and they wished that all their school groups could be like us. Then asked to be requested by name for our returning trip next year.

Wednesday brought us to the spectacular Seljandsfoss waterfall which allows you to walk behind it and a visit to the Eyjafjallajokull eruption visitor centre focussing on the 2010 eruption that caused devastation on a local level and international chaos as airspace came to a total standstill. We then visited the Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant which is a state of the art plant showing how geothermal energy is harnessed in a sustainable manner, in a country where 90% of the energy is green. We finished our day with a walking tour of Reykjavik, including tasting ‘the most famous hotdogs in Iceland’…some students went back for seconds.

Our last morning had time again in Reykjavik, where shopping, museums and Icelandic coffees were on the agenda in +17oC, even seeing David Cameron- in passing! Before having lunch at the Perlan viewing platform, one of the more recognisable landmarks in Reykjavik where 5 immense hot water tanks are topped with a domed revolving restaurant. We then relaxed and enjoyed the world famous bright blue mineral-rich swimming pool, with geothermally heated water in the middle of a large lava field, that is the Blue Lagoon. Meaning we arrived for our evening flight all pampered and chilled. Returning to College at 0400 on Friday.

The students were an absolute delight, they were sensible on the volcanic terrain and terrific fun throughout. Every single element of the experience was made even more pleasurable by the wonderful students that we took on this all inclusive Geography Iceland 2015 expedition. Takk og Bless (thank you and goodbye!).

Josh- It was amazing. I loved seeing all the waterfalls

Freya- so much fun and unforgettable (didn’t want to come home) real geography in action

Tash- An incredible experience, unforgettable

Daisy- Iceland was a geographically fascinating experience- we had so much fun

Lily- thank goodness for swimming pools heated to 37oC

Martha- It was an amazing experience, one that I will never forget

Tobias- #goodtimeswithgoodpeople

Scot- Iceland, more than just a cold, expensive Dartmoor! Much more…

Beth- it was made to be a really fun trip, I especially loved the Blue Lagoon and Whale Watching. The landscapes were truly incredible

Katy- the opportunity to experience a diverse and beautiful country was simply amazing.

Amy- It was an adventure and I loved every single minute of it!

Jack- What can I say about Iceland? An amazing once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget.

Rebecca- A once in a lifetime opportunity to go to an amazing country with great friends and great staff.

Sophia- The Iceland trip was the best experience of my life. I not only went on a plane for the first time but I learnt about so much including different cultures, people living with volcanos and also geothermal energy. I also had the best company, could not of gone with anyone better. I will never forget the trip. Especially the man bus and Gunnar our tour guide! Takk takk

Geography News

On Monday 16th November Martin Dawes will be in talking with A level geography students about their Pollution and Human Health at Risk unit.

Martin is a well known BBC News Correspondent and UN representative, who now works in London with a network of organisations in the aid sector dedicated to reform. The reform is to try to make sure there is full two way communication with disaster affected communities as this makes them stronger and creates more effective responses.

Ebola was a case where this lesson had again to be learned – but paid dividends.

This is an incredible opportunity for the students to engage a professional who has first hand experience of the impact of Ebola on the demographics and infrastructure of West Africa.

Business Studies & Geography Real World Learning Project

On a beautiful but chilly Friday some hardy Geography and Business A Level students visited Burrator Discovery Centre at the invitation of SW Lakes Trust to work on a project where they explored different ways to enhance the visitor experience to the off road tracks that encompass the Reservoir.

Working with Emily Cannon, Burrator Heritage Learning Officer for SW Lakes Trust and Ross Mitchell, SW Lakes Trust Volunteer, the students had a meeting to discuss initiatives before getting out into the ‘field’ and immersing themselves in the environment to work on their brief.

Emma Berryman, Business teacher said, “This an amazing opportunity for the students to experience real world learning and to enhance their quality business and geography knowledge. We are looking forward to working on this exciting project with some fantastic students.”

“The students now have to work on realistic and sustainable trails and activities, targeted specifically at families with primary aged children, where they have to market and implement the project ideas, including working closely with SW Lakes Trust, a registered charity,” said Tori Froud, Geography Teacher.



Coca Cola Real Business Challenge

On 4th February, eight Year 10 Business Studies students represented Tavistock College in the South West regional finals of the Coca Cola Real Business Challenge. The students made it through to the regional finals after developing a new juice brand for Coca Cola. Working with a Coca Cola mentor, the students designed an awareness campaign which included the use of social media, a bus stop poster and an app to promote and raise funds for the Special Olympics.

This allowed the students to use the business knowledge they had learnt in the classroom in a real word context. Whilst participating, the students demonstrated the ability to work as a team, meet deadlines and cope with huge amounts of pressure. Even though they were not successful in reaching the finals, they were a huge credit to the college and made their Business Studies teachers very proud!

photo coca cola 2015

AS geographers do Eden!

27 a level geography students experienced first hand the sights, sounds and smells that the Cornish Eden Project has to offer. Including a talk from a tertiary education officer, the students learnt about the Eden effect on rural rebranding to Cornwall.

They also saw some of Santa’s reindeer and enjoyed locally produced and sourced foods over lunch. The behaviour and respect shown by the stud ents towards Eden staff and fellow visitors was again exemplary, and they were a pleasure to take on field trip.


Studying extreme weather from a textbook isn’t good enough for our geographers!

Studying extreme weather from a textbook isn’t good enough for our geographers, they went to experience first Hand the impacts and consequences of the August 2004 floods.

Having had a beautiful day out in the Cornish sunshine, their knowledge of the village will benefit them well in their AS exams.



Year 12 Business Students compete in National Business and Accounting competition

On the 26th November, 6 Year 12 Business Studies students took part in ICAEW’s National Business and Accounting competition. This provided a unique and exciting experience as students were able to put their classroom learning into practice. They were presented with information about a business scenario which outlined a range of challenges. Under the support of a professional mentor, the students assessed, analysed, debated and developed recommendations which they presented to a panel of respected judges. These recommendations and the professionalism of the presentation resulted in the students being placed in the final four teams in the competition, which was a huge achievement.

The competition enabled the students to develop their employability skills outside the classroom as well as building confidence, knowledge and experience to take into their future careers. They were also able to establish contacts with employers and find out more about what career opportunities are available as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.