11 February 2022

This week’s whole school assembly includes a presentation about Children's Mental Health Week from Place2Be.


I've added a link here so you can watch this at home.


The assembly also explored online respect and relationships to mark this year's Safer Internet Day and Mr Huq introduced a number of current competitions including Fantasy Premier League, our new science poster competition and the house competition.


The assembly recognised students who have achieved Duke of Edinburgh Awards and also introduced Sixth Form students Alana and Sonny who are standing in the UK Youth Parliament elections.


Next Steps


In the Sixth Form we are celebrating the success of students gaining offers not only for highly competitive courses but also for a variety of higher education and degree apprenticeship courses as well as planning exciting gap year opportunities and pathways.


I am delighted that the quality of our candidates was recognised again this year by the admission tutors at the University of Cambridge and that the offers received reflect a range of subjects including Medicine, Mathematics and Chemistry Engineering.


Sharon Davidson, Assistant Head Post-16, said, “Students receiving offers have demonstrated their intellectual ability through nearly seven years of consistent study and often a wider interest in their subject than merely the examination criteria. Students have engaged through participation in being subject ambassadors, becoming speakers at question time events and responding to the extra-curricular wider reading suggested by their referees and other staff at the school, alongside their independent pursuit of online courses. They have dared to go the extra mile”.


Pictured are Elliott, James, Tom, Byron and Joseph who have all received offers from the University of Cambridge this year.

Elliott Chapell, Medicine, Sidney Sussex College


James Hills, Mathematics, Clare College


Tom Hyndman, Economics, King’s College


Byron Perry, Natural Sciences, Queens’ College


Joseph Stell, Chemical Engineering, Magdalene College


I'd also like to highlight Nat Watson-Coe who has been offered a degree apprenticeship with Ernst & Young.


I asked Nat to tell us more and he said, "Ernst & Young is a top four accountancy firm and there were six stages to follow in my application. I initially applied in the beginning of November and the process lasted until February".


He added, "The job role is a business and leadership management degree apprenticeship, specialising in consultancy. I will be based in Newcastle and partnered with Newcastle University where I should get my degree in three years and start working towards my accountancy qualifications".


Ms Davidson added, "We are thrilled Nat that you had the foresight to look into what the company could offer you, the initiative to work through the application process and the character, confidence and skill to shine in the selection process. We are very proud of you".


Well done Nat and congratulations to all students who are receiving offers for their next steps.

Excellent Work

Our example of Excellent Work this week is from Mrs Brooking, Head of Languages.

She has nominated Oliver Blampied 10N for his redraft of a fantastic 150 word written piece in his Year 10 Spanish exam. The piece of writing includes a wide variety of connectives, opinions, tenses including the imperfect and conditional, and higher-level structures.

Well done Oliver!

Learn about Kooth


Kooth is a mental health and wellbeing company working to provide a welcoming space for digital mental health care which is available to all.


Families are invited to a presentation on Kooth with a live tour of the site and an opportunity for questions and answers on Tuesday 22 February from 16:30 to 17:30.

For more information and to book your free tickets please use this link.

Ticket information


Ten Tors Training


Well at long last Dartmoor delivered some great training weather as our three Ten Tors teams battled driving rain, high winds and chilling temperatures not to mention a short spell of limited visibility across the south moor, writes Mr Clifford.


All three teams maintained some exacting timings when compared with their pre-prepared route cards. Exhaustion was definitely a factor during the late afternoon as the teams fought off a strong headwind but this didn’t seem to dampen spirits, resolve or determination in testing conditions.


There were some fine examples of leadership and map reading throughout the day, in particular the 35 mile team who gave a good account of themselves on their first real solo route since their selection week.


Whilst still early in the training season all teams are starting to work together as a collective with a real sense of joined up thinking and team ethos.

Mr Clifford

Teams ascend the aqueduct at Raddick Hill enroute to Cramber Tor

Teams converge on an isolated Fox Tor and take time to take on food and fluids

Swincombe Bridge calls for a well earned 10 minute lunch break

Alumni News

Very well done to former student Harrison Nash who has been recognised in the Queen’s Honours list for his work with vulnerable children in South Africa as Charity Director of Maranatha Care Children.


Harrison was presented with the British Empire Medal by the country's British High Commissioner, HE Mr Anthony Phillipson.


Harrison returned to Plymouth just before Christmas and was kind enough to come into school to speak to our Sixth Form students.


Read more here

PSHEE Activities

Ms Moreton is starting her section of the Head’s Blog this week with a request for any recent alumni who might be prepared to come in and talk briefly about their university experience or future career to an audience of Year 10 and Year 12 students and if possible stay around for a more informal chat with the Sixth Form students.

If you are able to help please send an email to sue.moreton@dhsb.org to request more details. It would be terrific to see some of you on Friday 8 April 2022. Fingers crossed!

All students have been taking part in the UK Youth Parliament elections in addition to their year group tasks. The school has candidates in the Plymouth elections as well as a contender for Cornwall MYP and I will let you know the results in a future post.


Students also had to vote for the issue they think is most important for the parliament to consider. Last year members addressed world leaders at the Cornwall Climate conference, for instance. Good luck everyone!

Year 7 students this week are continuing with their exploration of the different modules of the iDEA site idea.org.uk Many are already making good progress towards their bronze award. And of course it was time for another First Aid session, this week for 7S.

Year 8 students thought about job ‘families’ e.g. barrister/lawyer/legal secretary/court official and also had the chance to use a careers game called Panjango https://panjango.online/ where they could select areas of business in which to complete challenges.

They also began to consider that the job they particularly want may not be available locally as they looked at local labour market information.

Year 9 students considered self esteem and how to boost it in themselves and other people, and Year 10 students, in national apprenticeship week, followed up their talk last week with investigations of local vacancies and how to register and apply.

Finally Year 11 discussed ‘Why go to uni?’ which included virtual tours of and information from several universities as they consider their route for the next couple of years - A levels, vocational courses at college or another school or of course a level 3 apprenticeship.

A week to go of this long half term, and it is great to see several of our usual activities returning to the timetable again. I plan to welcome an array of visitors into school for National Careers Week in March, and then the alumni event as above - long may it last!

Ms Moreton

Letter from Alex Burghart, Minister for Skills


Following Ms Moreton’s post and to coincide with National Apprenticeships Week 2022,

Alex Burghart, Minister for Skills, has written to families about the opportunities and benefits apprenticeships can bring to young people.

The intention of the letter, copied here, is to encourage students and parents to consider apprenticeships when they are thinking about career choices.


Link to letter


Sports Update

Table Tennis

Many congratulations to Year 8 students Hugo Nguyen, Lucas Ceasar, Oliver Cunningham and Leo Nguyen who competed at the regional table tennis championships on Saturday.


This is our headline sports story this week and it’s brilliant news that the team is through to the national finals in March.


Mr Campbell said it was a great effort from all the students who showed huge amounts of determination and resilience.

In addition to this exciting news, the school U18 table tennis team won the Plymouth school championship, held on Thursday afternoon.


Well done everyone.

Badminton


Congratulations to the U19 badminton team, pictured here, who won the Plymouth school championship by beating the teams from Hele's and Stoke Damerel.

Football


The Year 9 football team is through to round three of the Devon Cup after a good win against Torquay Academy. Mr Bunney said this was a great response from the team after the disappointment of losing on penalties in the last game. Well done to all.

The Year 11 team also go through to round three of the Devon Cup following a victory against Holsworthy Community College. Mr Strang said, “Thanks for an entertaining game”.


It was a top of the table clash this week when the 1st XI played Plymouth Medical School on Wednesday afternoon.


Mr Manley says our team remains on top after the match finished with a hard fought 4 - 4 draw.