About Thomas Deacon Academy

Founded in , the Thomas Deacon Academy educates 2,000 students in Peterborough, from Year 7 to Year 13. The school operates a house-based system, teaching a wide variety of subjects across many areas. There are 6 houses in the school and every student is a member of one house, which is where their vertical form group is located and where lunchtime is centred around (along with the communal Refectory). The houses are Milton, Sandown, Castle, Highfield, Trinity and Atherstone.

Thomas Deacon Academy is commonly referred to as TDA and is on Twitter as @tdaeducation.

Students join the academy in Year 7 (although later admissions are possible) and study a set timetable of subjects until Year 9. Students then have the ability to have a choice in the subjects they take for GCSE, alongside the core academic subjects of English, Maths, Science (BTEC, GCSE or Triple Science), RE and PE (GCSE PE can be chosen to take as a GCSE option).

The sixth form teaches a wide variety of subjects. In Key Stage 5, students are taught four subjects of their choice for two years, Year 12 and Year 13.

Extra-curricular activity is very important at Thomas Deacon Academy and the school has a wide assortment of enrichment available. You can browse the TDA Enrichment timetable on the app.


Queen's Gardens, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE1 2UW, UK

Phone: 01733 426060
Email: information@thomasdeaconacademy.com

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Student and staff statistics

TDA students year distribution graph

There are 1,992 students attending Thomas Deacon Academy in Year 7–13 as of . The school employs 330 staff as of , down from 364 prior to September 2015, where there were 364 staff (of which 288 were full-time), comprising of 167 teachers (151 full-time) and 197 associate staff (136 full-time). The normal staff turnover at Thomas Deacon Academy is approximately 12%–17% per year. The students are distributed as follows.


All content © , except News as provided by TDA.

Library, located in the centre of the school, above the lecture theatres.

Milton house, one of the six houses in Thomas Deacon Academy.


Term 3

TDA students shine

Lion Kheswa, Y10, awarded Principals Award and met Prince Charles

What started as a day of skateboarding soon became a situation far more serious than Lion Kheswa, Y10, could have imagined.

While using the ramps at the top of a multi story car park in the City Centre, Lion noticed a vulnerable lady sat alone at the edge of the car park. Realising this was potentially an urgent situation, Lion introduced himself to the lady and engaged her in conversation while he called the emergency services. Lion managed to stay focussed and keep the attention of the lady until support arrived and we are pleased to say that after further interaction the individual was safely taken in to the care of people that could help her.

The bravery and compassion demonstrated by Lion is amazing, particularly for a student aged just 14yrs. We do not doubt that the outcome for the lady in question could well have been very different if it were not for the quick actions of Lion.

William Wren TDA

William Wren

Sergeant William Wren of the RAF Cadet Section has received the very welcome news the he has successfully completed the Level 3 CVQO Leadership and Team Skills qualification.

William attended a week long residential in Somerset, with cadets from around the country, to participate in practical and theory assessments to test his leadership abilities. William is the frst TDA cadet to undertake the qualification and he hopes this will support his application to join the RAF after his A Levels.

U16 Boys County Hockey Tournament Finals

Hockey — Sport

U16 Boys

There were only 6 teams from the whole of Cambridgeshire that made it to the U16 Boys County Hockey Tournament Finals and it was always going to be tough for our boys, the majority of whom are still in Y10. It was no surprise that we lost to The Perse, Cambridge but the really big result was against Kimbolton where we performed well above expectation & drew 1-1 with a goal from Janas. The boys put in a great performance only missing out on qualifying through goal difference. Well done boys.

Peterborough Schools 7-a-side

Football — Sport

TDA Y9 football team

The Y9 football team played in the Peterborough Schools 7-a-side Tournament against five other schools.

The tournament did not start well with the last minute loss of our goalkeeper, but luckily Bartosz Bere (Y8) stepped in at the last minute. The teams played in a round robin tournament and it soon became clear that our main challengers were going to be Jack Hunt who had a Y9 player bigger than Mr German. The boys played some of the best football from any TDA team for quite some time which resulted in them winning the competition without conceding a single goal. What a great achievement.

Peterborough Schools Indoor Cricket League

Indoor Cricket — Sport

TDA indoor cricket team

TDA cricket teams started their Peterborough Schools Indoor League competition in an emphatic style as they hosted Stanground Academy. The teams showed why, as a school, we are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to cricket winning both the U13 and U15 games with ease. A fantastic performance from both teams.

Y10 Sports Leaders


Y10 Sports Leaders

Y10 Sports Leaders have been delivering sports sessions to Year 5 students. The sessions have included balls skills in volleyball, basketball, dodgeball and football.

I enjoyed learning the volleyball shots like the superman and the dig Y5 student

With no previous experience of delivering lessons, this was a new experience for all involved. The leadership skills of the Sports Leaders was really put to the test, pushing them out of their comfort zone however the students proved they were able to take control of the session, engaging the pupils.

AAAS conference in Boston, USA


American Association for the Advancement of Science annual conference in Boston, USA

TDA6 students spent three days at the conference where they were able to network with professionals and peers, attend lectures delivered by specialists and enhance their scientific knowledge.

The conference focussed on the importance of basic research, and the lectures included the development of Artificial Intelligence, CRISPER, a gene editing technique, the theory of learning and the conservation of Bees and understanding CCD in bees. In addition to the conference students received a tour of Harvard University and watched a local basketball match. This sounds like a fantastic opportunity for our future scientists.

Y8 Explorers


HousePointsto Date

Term 2

Cyborg Celebrities

Imad Hussain, Y8

A selection of student drawings

8N5 have recently been drawing half human half cyborg celebrities! We have now begun to watercolour our mutated celebrities and if they are just over that brilliant line, Ms. Roberts will put them on display. Quotes from the class on how they felt:

It’s really hard but I like the challenge Monika Paleckyte
I get to paint Justin Bieber Kirandip Thind.
It’s a very enjoyable subject Daniel Dembicki.
I think it’s great because I’m finally doing something different Amaan Habib.

In conclusion, some students in the class are finding this unit enjoyable and a change to the norm, but others are finding it hard and challenging, yet everyone is pushing through to create an amazing piece!

International Evening

Amrina Kawsar, Y11

Evening in the lecture theatre

This term, teachers from Poland, Croatia, Lithuania and Spain came to Thomas Deacon Academy as part of the Erasmus Culture Project and to talk about their schools at the first International Evening. This event was to introduce the International Ambassadors of the school and give more information to students and their parents about the various projects taking place. Dr Faulkner also informed us of the different foreign exchange programmes happening this year.

Community Carol Service

Harry Carter, Y12

Photos from the carol service

This was a carol service put on by the TDA trust in order to gather several primary schools from Peterborough including All Saints’ C of E Primary, Abbotsmede Community Primary, Eye C of E Primary, Gladstone Primary and TDA Junior Academy along with several members of the Thomas Deacon Academy. The event consisted of several Christmas carols along with readings from each primary school with many added props in order to make each performance that much more personal and interesting from an audience’s point of view. The evening also included performances from the TDA Woodwind Ensemble, TDA Brass ensemble and 3 solo performances from the TDA Y12/13 Music students; Katie Baca on Violin, Lewis Shaw on Tenor Sax and Harry Carter on Classical Guitar. As a whole the night was a Christmas-filled celebration in the vast and stunning space of the Cathedral.

Term 1

Google Expeditions

A student looks through Google Expeditions

Imagine a world where you can visit any destination on Earth, fly into space to land on the moon or explore the human anatomy in great detail. Thomas Deacon Academy has been doing just that with Google Expeditions.

Students across each year group have been experiencing a world of virtual reality with the support of Google and their new technology that brings learning to life.

There are currently in excess of 200 panoramas available, each providing 360 degree photo spheres, 3D images and video experiences, many of which have been developed with partner organisations to align them with the National Curriculum.

TDA students on an expedition with Google Expeditions

Teachers are able to select and control the experience as the ‘leader’ of the expedition and students are automatically transported on their journey using a cardboard set of goggles and a mobile device, enabling them to experience learning in a completely new way.

Key Stage 2 visited Athens and Rio, ew into space and swam in the oceans, Key Stage 3 visited Jerusalem and, Key Stage 4 looked at technology and manufacturing and Key Stage 5 visited universities such as Arizona State and Stevens Institute of Technology.

I went in to space and visited Athens and Rio. Rio was my favourite because it was pretty. The glasses are really good as they help us learn by taking us to places that we are not old enough to visit just yet. Elouis Dobbing, Y5

U14 Hockey

Hockey — Sport

U14 Hockey team photo

TDA entered two hockey teams in the U14 Peterborough Schools Cup and after a very impressive performance both teams remained unbeaten. Team A won their games 7-0 and 2-0 earning them the title of Peterborough Schools Champions! Well done to both teams.

The U14 hockey girls played against Kimbolton A team in a fixture and while this was a tough ask against an established team it was good practice for the County Tournament. With a quick set of Kimbolton forwards the girls were unable to hold off the opposition but strong defence from Ellie Ward kept Kimbolton under control to keep the opponents score down. Well done Ellie!

U19 Hockey

The senior netball team attended the County Tournament in Cambridge and did exceptionally well against teams that were made up of older players. TDA nished in 6th place on the day after winning four games, drawing one game and losing four games. It was a well contested tournament with a high standard of play and after losing out to 4th place by just three points the girls will be returning next year to compete for a place in the top two.

Y7–Y11 & 6th form Football results

Football — Sport

It is football season once more and the TDA teams have been playing against St John Fisher in the first round of the Peterborough Schools Cup. The teams showed real determination on the pitch, keeping us on the edge of our seats in every game.

Y7 finished full and extra time on a draw of 4:4, taking the game to penalties. At the end of the penalty round the scores were still tied resulting in sudden death penalties. TDA held their nerve and, with some outstanding goal keeping and impressive finishing, we won the game.

Y8 were not giving in easily either with the score at 2:2 with one minute left in the game. Aurimas Sulga secured the win with a goal in the 90th minute taking the team through to the next round.

Y9 were drawing 2:2 at the end of full time and following an exciting period of extra time where a further five goals were scored we were beaten 5:4. The Y9 team now go through to the plate competition where they will play the losing team between Ormiston Bush eld Academy and Neale Wade.

The Y11 team fought back from going behind early in the game to win comfortably by 4 goals to 2, with all four goals coming from Filip Czerwonka, well done Filip! Y11 team now progress to the next round of the cup.

The senior team put in an impressive performance against a strong side and despite their best efforts the SJF team had the edge beating us 3:0. The sixth form boys will now go through to the plate competition.

Duke of Edinburgh


DofE students on their expedition

Following the summer break the Duke of Edinburgh programme was up and running almost as soon as we had returned to the Academy. The D of E staff team spent September and October with students undertaking varying levels of training in preparation for the full expeditions in 2017.

Following a change in eligibility criteria, Y9 were able to participate in the awards scheme for the first time, making this a particularly busy year. Over two consecutive weekends 50 Y9 and 50 Y10 students hiked approximately 13km and 24km, respectively, across the Rutland countryside, learning the basic skills of camp craft.

The following week, 28 Y11 students spent three days in Edale, during which time they trekked across the more dif cult terrain of the Peak District, for a total of 20hrs, carrying all the equipment required for outdoor survival in the process.

As we entered October, 16 Y13 students started their training exercise for the gold award. The students spent four days in the Yorkshire Dales trekking and camping independently, embedding the knowledge learned in the bronze and silver awards.

The D of E training was rounded off with a 2020 training expedition, which allowed 15 students in Y12 the opportunity to begin their awards journey, on a two day hike across the Lincolnshire countryside.

We are looking forward to working with the students on their official award expeditions in 2017.

CCF & Police Cadets


TDA CCF Cadets

At the beginning of each academic year we review the numbers in our cadet sections, hosting a recruitment event in the Academy.

As a result of the recruitment drive this September we are pleased to welcome 30 new recruits to the Police section, 5 new recruits to the RAF section and 38 new recruits to the Army section.

Over the next 12 weeks the new recruits will undertake their basic training to help them settle in to their new roles. We wish them all the best on their CCF and Police Cadet journeys.

Smallpiece Water Filtration


Students experimenting with water filtration equipment

The Smallpeice Trust visited the Academy to deliver a STEM water filtration day to Y8. Students were given the instructions, tools and resources to design and build a working water filter. Working in teams, students were assigned tasks to ensure that the cost of their design was monitored, marketing materials were produced to promote the design and a presentation was prepared for delivery to the panel at the end of the challenge. The students were fully engaged in this interactive session, demonstrating the benefits of learning beyond the classroom.

Medical Mavericks

Medical science in the classroom

Medical Mavericks spent a day at TDA in October to bring the world of medical science to the classroom.

Y9 students were able to explore a variety of areas of the medical industry through the technologies used in hospitals. Throughout the sessions students were able to move freely between medical stations using the range of equipment to test and take recordings of themselves, such as their blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen levels and lung capacity. In addition to this students were able to try their hand at key hole surgery, taking blood from Andy the Arm and intubating Eddy the Head.

To finish the day the Medical Mavericks team delivered a show to STEM Ambassadors to explore careers in medicine and engineering in the medical industry before delivering the ‘Human Guinea Pig’, an interactive session looking at medical techniques such as retina displays and endoscopy.

Lead Learners

Lead Learners is a scheme that enables students to develop their leadership skills while supporting the Academy and other students.

Students are able to align their particular strengths and interests with their leadership ability by opting to be a Lead Learner in an area that appeals to them. Each role has a job description and students are expected to complete an application form describing why they believe they are suitable for the role.

When the students returned to the Academy in September they were invited to apply for roles and following a short selection process students were notified of the outcome of their application before the half term. The Lead Learners will commence with their respective duties in November and we will be following their progress so look out for updates in future newsletters, on the website and on social media.