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10 November 2023

Today Mr Berryman presented our Remembrance Assembly.

He said, "It is vital that as a school community we understand the sacrifices made by service personnel to give us our freedoms today, especially in the context of current conflicts happening around the world".

The assembly also focused on the reality of war and how it draws everybody from any religion and background. War does not directly discriminate nor does it solve the issues which started the conflicts. As last month was Black History Month Mr Berryman wanted to celebrate and inform our students of the BWIR (British West Indies Regiment) who volunteered to fight in World War 1.

During the assembly our students were given time to reflect on what remembrance means to them. Members of our school community read the names on the DHSB Roll of Honour before a minute silence.

A special thanks to Jack Benzie for playing the last post and to Noah Evans and George Cleeland-Smith for recording, editing and publishing the assembly.

We hope you will also watch our remembrance assembly and reflect on the messages at home.

In addition to our remembrance assembly, Mr Riggs has shared this example of Excellent Work written by one of his Year 9 History students, Josh Barnes-Smith 9C.

Josh has written a story about World War 1. Mr Riggs was very impressed with his work and thought it would be appropriate to include in our Head’s Blog today. Thank you Josh.

The Lone Soldier by Josh Barnes-Smith

Imagine seeing your friends die, imagine your ears being deafened by explosions, imagine the fear every time you hear rumbling or a whistle blowing. Well, this was my life two years ago in the summer of 1918. My name is Billy Bridges. I'm in the second infantry regiment. We're going over the top tomorrow along with tanks and planes to take the Hindenburg line and chase Fritz back to Berlin. Fritz has been falling back for a few weeks now, but they have left mines and traps along the way. The other day a tank came out of the trees but luckily our tanks got it before it could take a shot. I feel like Fritz is taking us into a barrel and we're a bunch of fish. Danger. That's all I feel.

We're chasing them without any knowledge of why they are retreating for or how much further away they are. We are in trucks, on tanks or horses and some are marching. Either way the commanders will send us in to see what is happening rather than using reconnaissance balloons and aircraft and waste the lives of men.

House Captains

This week saw the formal appointment and very first meeting of the 2023/24 House Captains. The House Captains have hit the ground running with one of their first tasks being to select the House Charities for the year. They will be liaising with their house form groups so students should keep an eye on their email for voting forms! They have demonstrated a lot of enthusiasm already within their Captaincy teams and I am really looking forward to working with them this year.

Could this be the year Edison claims the St Levan Shield for the first time? Is Smeaton unstoppable? Can Winstanley build on their Sports Day win? Or perhaps this year Priestley, Newton or Campbell will reign supreme?

Miss Cunningham said, "The full team of House Captains and Vice Captains can be found on the House Dashboards section of our website: Here you can also see the form reps from each year group".

Physics News

One of DHSB's newest lunch time clubs has started the year with nine students from Years 10 and 11 being accepted onto the University of Oxford's COMPOS Programme.

The mission of COMPOS (Comprehensive Oxford Mathematics and Physics Online School) is to help enthusiastic school students to systematically learn Mathematics and Physics at a deep level by offering them free tuition and mentoring.

The group who meet for discussion and mutual support are certainly enthusiastic, accepting a large additional ‘homework’ in Physics and Maths every fortnight, which presents GCSE material at a higher and deeper level than DHSB students commonly encounter in class.

To be accepted onto the programme, the students had to pass the first assignment which included problems in Hydrostatics and Quadratic Functions.

There is a large overlap between our COMPOS group and next summer's two DHSB Physics trips to Geneva and CERN, with the younger students' Further Physics Club running alongside our long established Sixth Form Physics Society. We are looking forward to an exciting programme of student led seminars on Particle Physics over the coming months.

Students accepted onto the COMPOS programme are Luke Madgett, Ben Wotton, Caleb Caleshu, Iwan Sanders, Jonah Crawford, Otto Malm, Robert Huang, Thomas de Wilde, Jack Chen.

Well done to them all.

Also related to this week’s Physics news, Dr Colvile has shared these photos which were taken at yesterday's KS5 Physics Challenge.

In one of the rounds, teams were asked to measure the mass of an Exeter Maths School pen, using the tray of basic equipment provided (including some chocolate biscuits of known mass replacing the ones they ate during the previous round of today's competition).

One of our teams won the practical round of the competition and can be seen with their prizes gyroscopes.

Performing and Creative Arts Update


We are very excited to be able to offer training in LAMDA classes in the Creative Arts. This is a new activity and will take place 1:1 on rotation on Mondays. LAMDA offers training in speech, drama and musical theatre and holds great distinction on CVs and applications to university.

LAMDA training also has UCAS points attached through exams. This is open to ALL years and is starting on Monday 13th November for five weeks this term. If you are interested in lessons, or would like further information please contact our LAMDA teacher Sam Pomeroy at or 07957 109305.

Steel Pan Band!

Another new opportunity for students of DHSB and any other Plymouth school is our Steel Pan Band. Led by highly accomplished and experienced professionals we are very lucky to host this experience on Wednesdays at 6.20pm in the Edgcumbe Theatre. Classes are FREE and open for all to attend. This is kindly supported by the Plymouth Music Education Hub. If you would like your child to attend (and they can bring friends/siblings from ANY Plymouth school) then just turn up at the theatre on Wednesday.

Plymouth City Music Festival

We have a number of students competing in the Plymouth City Music Festival today and over the next week, good luck to all, results will be in next week’s Head’s Blog.

Stop press!

We've just received news of our first Gold Medal winner! Very well done to Year 8 student Angus Fielding who has won a gold medal for his 14 and under violin solo.

Les Mis News

During Curriculum Challenge Week the Les Mis Cast are over the moon to have the Director of Les Mis in the West End, and Cameron Mills holding a workshop in school for all students in Les Mis! This is on Wednesday 29 November.

Dates for the Diary in Creative Arts

28 November at 7.00pm - Christmas at the Ivy in Exeter. Students in our choirs will be joining up to sing Christmas songs outside the Ivy in Exeter. They then get to eat there afterwards!

Thursday 7 December at 5.00pm - DHSB Brass playing on the Piazza in Plymouth city centre.

Monday 11 December at 5.00pm DHSB choirs performing on the Piazza in Plymouth city centre.

Monday 11 December from 7.00pm - 8.00pm The Year 7 Carol Service, with additional performers, at St Andrews Church, Plymouth.

Wednesday 13 December from 5.00pm - 6.00pm - Year 9 GCSE Music ensemble performances in the Edgcumbe Theatre.

Thursday 14 December from 7.00pm - 8.00pm at Stoke Damerel Church, our Christmas Concert with mulled wine and mince pies.

Monday 18 December - Mutley Christmas shopping night at the Shekinah Mission shop - DHSB students performing.

7, 8, 9 February 2024 - Les Miserables; our stunning whole school musical.

If you have any questions regarding any of the above information please do not hesitate to contact me at

And finally this week, 48 students in Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 enjoyed a trip to see Jesus Christ Superstar at the Theatre Royal on Wednesday. A great theatrical experience for our students and they were delighted to see a completely live musical performance throughout. The behaviour our students showed was exemplary and they were a credit to the school

Mrs Luing-Holmes

Raising Digital Engagement

We are delighted to have been awarded the Devon County Council supported Raising Digital Engagement Bronze Award for inspiring students to consider careers in tech and digital.

The Raising Digital Engagement programme includes a range of resources that encourage our students to explore how technology affects their lives at home, in school and in the workplace, and aims to future proof them for changing employment pathways. The programme aims to grow the number of students pursuing a digital career or taking computer science at GCSE and A level to help the UK close its digital skills gap in the future.

Details about the programme can be found at this link.

Mrs Pyle and Mr Scott

Excellent Work

In Business Year 9 students have completed their first Business project - the Water Bottle Challenge. Students have impressively worked in small teams to create a presentation of a new brand of water. They conducted primary and secondary market research to identify a gap in the market.

They were able to design a bottle and some students even created an actual drink and filmed a real advert. It has been great to see the ideas generated and formed.

Year 9 students then delivered very informative presentations to the rest of the group and our Sixth Form subject ambassadors

The ambassadors asked very good questions about the new products and the Year 9 students responded to them well.

Mrs Pyle said, "Well done to everyone involved".


Please join us at our meeting on Tuesday 14 November, in the Conference Room (behind the Visitor Reception) at 6.30pm. We'd love to see you - refreshments provided.

Our popular Pryzm Christmas disco takes place on Sunday 3 December. Tickets will be going on sale next week, after our meeting. This event is open to students in Years 7, 8 and 9 (DHSB, DHSG and PHSG plus guests) - keep an eye on our social media for details:

X (formerly Twitter) @DHSBPTFA

Any questions, or offers of help, please

Mrs Kinsella

Sports Update


Congratulations to the Year 7 football team for winning 5 - 2 against Ivybridge in the third round of the national cup.

Mr Callicott said, “We can't forget our two mascots, who support the boys in every game”.

Well done also to the Year 11 football team. Mr Bunney said, “A big well done to the team team who somehow, despite being 4 - 1 down at HT and then even 5 - 1 down after that, found a way to beat a very good Torquay Boys Grammar 6 - 5 in the national cup third round. Quite literally a game of two halves”.

Mr Orkney reports that the 1st XI lost in the Wednesday league this week to Plymouth University Sixths.

Cross Country

We saw fantastic efforts from all DHSB students competing in the Plymouth Schools Cross Country at a wet and windy Staddiscombe this week.

Mr Carpenter said, "This was the final appearance for Gregor in senior boys, a silver for Dan in junior boys and overall brilliant team performances - well done".


The U16 Badminton team was in action this week at their central venue competition. The team beat Stoke Damerel CC and drew with Coombe Dean. Congratulations.


It was the first game of the season for the U19 team, the Cheetahs, and this ended in a narrow defeat at the hands of Plymouth High for Girls.


The U14 rugby team played a really well contested game in the Devon Cup but lost to Ivybridge 20 - 12.

Our Year 10 team was in action at the Plymouth Rugby Festival today and we will bring you the scores later today or in the Head’s Blog next Friday.

Stop Press - Mr Orkney is back in school and says the DHSB team came first in the competition today!


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