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12 February 2021

This week we are paying our respects to the school’s founder, Alonzo J Rider, who died 100 years ago.

Mr Rider passed away at his home, which adjoined the school (in its original Albert Road location) on 9 February 1921.

After retiring in 1906 he was still very much involved with the school as the Chair of Governors. In one of his final speeches he expressed his paternal pride in Devonport High which he had founded 22 years previously. On the anniversary of Alonzo’s death I was able to pay tribute to him by placing a wreath, from DHSB, on his grave.

Thank you

Mr Manley has asked me to include this thank you message in today’s Head’s Blog.

The message is from Steph Benson, Community Fundraiser for The Grand Appeal, Bristol Children’s Hospital.

Ms Benson said, “It was wonderful to receive your school’s donation of £392.71 raised through your Christmas jumper day, your support means so much at this uncertain time. Please pass on a huge thank you to everyone that took part and donated. As the dedicated Bristol Children’s Hospital charity, The Grand Appeal’s priority is to ensure that we provide as much support as possible for the lifesaving work that continues throughout this pandemic. Whether it’s our frontline staff, working directly with the patients and families in the children’s hospital, or our family accommodation staff, ensuring parents have somewhere safe to stay, we are there, helping families through this terrible time of uncertainty”.

Competition Time!

House Competitions

Our House Captains have created a series of competitions for students to enjoy over half term. This is an opportunity to be creative during lockdown and a fun activity to do other than school work, writes Mr Manley.

The competition is broken down into four categories: sport, art/photography, music and maths/science. What is submitted is entirely up to individuals, athough it must be in a format that is able to be added on a Google Form link. We recommend taking photos, a video, making a Tik Tok or using Google Slides. The deadline is 8 March 2021.

Entries are optional, however those that do enter are in with the chance of winning a £10 prize for each category! Each category is judged separately and has its own individual prize, meaning that there will be four winners in each House.

Winners will also have their work displayed on the House notice boards for extra recognition of their fantastic entries.

Have fun and get creative! Click this link for more information and the Google entry forms.

Poetry by Heart 2021

Last year we had students who were regional runners up in the Poetry by Heart competition and Ms Davarian is encouraging all students to take part this year.

She said, “This is a national competition where individuals choose, learn and recite two poems. Follow the steps in the slides to find out more”.

These are Ms Davarian’s top tips for learning a poem by heart and she advises to read the poem with all of these things in mind.

Read the poem several times - in your head and aloud.

Check the meaning of any unfamiliar vocabulary. You can’t bring meaning and expression to the poem if you don’t understand it!

Ask yourself what you think the story of the poem is? Who is speaking? What are the key themes and ideas?

Look out for any rhythm or rhyme in the poem. Look out for key lines.

Around the World in 40 Days

We have travelled an impressive total of 14,569 miles so far writes Mr Orkney. This takes us across the South Pacific Ocean to the Cook Islands.

Cook Islanders have New Zealand citizenship although it is becoming increasingly independent. Not surprisingly, tourism is the main industry here. Although Captain James Cook arrived here in 1773 and 1777 it was the Russians who were to name the islands after him.

Now we have just over 10,000 miles to travel if we are to achieve our goal. As it is half term I am hoping that as many of you as possible can get out and contribute on a daily basis. If we all pull together we can do it.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far and have a great week.

Don't forget to log your miles on this Google form.

Mr Orkney

Student News

Well done to Kenzou Twitchett 7P who has been revisiting his enthusiasm for electronics during this lockdown. He came up with an idea of improving a standard computer mouse to an auto clicker. He took apart a mouse and soldered wires to the left click button and attached a mini breadboard to the back of the PCB. Then using a relay, he made the mouse automatically click super fast.

Kenzou also discovered an interesting project kit called ‘30 days lost in space’. It's a story based Arduino kit that combines programming and electronics. Kenzou is looking forward to completing the project and finding his way back from space!

Well done also to James Young 9S who has been spending his time biking. We hope you have logged your miles in our Around the World Challenge James.

Excellent Work

Ms Nally has shared work from Harvey Richardson 6WB (English Literature classwork) as an example of Excellent Work.

She said, “Harvey’s commitment to reading, understanding and analysing the speeches from The Duchess of Malfi is superb because he has persisted with the interpretation of the language and explains his observations in detail”.

Ms Sheridan has also sent Sixth Form English work for this week’s Head’s Blog.

Kai Benjamin 6RNC made a selection of interesting poems for her Year 13 English Literature class to enjoy as part of their ‘daily dose’ of poetry which helps prepare students for the challenges of their previously unseen assessment. Kai explains his choices in a very clear and engaging way.

Year 7 Classics students are currently reading Greek myths, writes Ms Welton and here are some examples of their creative writing. Some illustrious writers have worked during periods of confinement such as William Shakespeare during the plague of 1606, Miguel de Cervantes and Machiavelli in prison/isolation, Anne Frank hiding away from the Nazi regime. In the spirit of writing in confinement with a storm battering outside, Year 7 students retold the Greek myth of creation through the eyes of the titan Prometheus.

Click the link below to read the writing of Harry Mc Culloch 7E, Agsheyan Praveenthan and Thomas Lloyd 7P

PHSEE Activities

Well, it is the last week of this half term, and as usual here are the details of the lessons that were set this morning via students' tutorial Google classrooms, to encourage discussion between students and parents.

The Year 7 lesson was about communication and email etiquette, both in and out of school. Students should see school as a professional environment, and there are tips and tricks to try to develop efficient, polite and effective electronic communication.

Year 8 students learned about buying online (something some of us may have been indulging in recently...) with different scenarios to consider, and how to deal with common problems that may arise.

The Year 9 lesson was all about boosting self esteem both for ourselves and for others, and included a short Pixar film to watch.

Year 10 students were given time to register on the national apprenticeship website following their lesson on 29 January. It only takes a few minutes to do this, and the site can be set to send alerts when an appropriate vacancy arises. This could be very useful in the future for deciding on career plans, and meanwhile will at least let students see what the local labour market has to offer in this respect.

Finally for this week, Year 11 students were introduced to the online support system Kooth ( which offers confidential information and advice to young people struggling with mental health issues, including chat facilities. Don't try and manage alone - help is a click or a phone call away.

We still don't know what next half term will look like, but hopefully at least the weather will be improving soon. I hope you can all enjoy a relaxing break next week.

Ms Moreton

eSafety Advice

On Tuesday, 9 February 2021, we celebrated the 18th edition of Safer Internet Day in tutor time. With a theme once again of "Together for a better internet", the day called upon all stakeholders to join together to make the internet a safer and better place for all, and especially for children and young people.

Students were asked to think about how they could be proactive and ensure their own actions helped not only themselves, but others in making the internet more inclusive and welcoming. We took part in the UKs attempt to break an official Guinness World Record for 'Most pledges received for an internet safety campaign in 24 hours." - which is being verified! Pledges from our students included:

"I pledge to be kinder on the internet."

"Be kinder when replying to comments or posts"

"To be nicer to people on online games"

"Install Anti virus software, maybe use incognito on the web and don't accept cookies on websites."

"I pledge to change my name on Xbox so it is not my real name" Perhaps you can make a pledge too?

Ms Buckler


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