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12 January 2018

An invitation to read Medicine at Brasenose College in Oxford is among the six Oxbridge offers to students this year.

I am delighted that the quality of our candidates was recognised again this year by admission tutors at both Oxford and Cambridge.

Sharon Davidson, Assistant Head Post-16, said, “Studying at such a renowned university offers the opportunity to apply learning that impacts greatly upon the world. It also opens the doors to a wealth of networking opportunities which will benefit our students in their futures”.

She added, “Receiving an offer from Oxbridge is testament to students’ intellectual abilities and reflects on nearly seven years of consistent study and hard work”.

Well done to the following students.

Alizeh Abdul Rahman – Philosophy and Theology, Mansfield College, Oxford

Archie Breare – History, Girton College, Cambridge

Jago Bruce – Medicine, Brasenose College, Oxford

Thomas Hill – Earth Sciences, University College, Oxford

George Irving – Natural Sciences, Jesus College, Cambridge

Christopher Villaquiran – Mathematics, Churchill College, Cambridge

180112 Oxbridge

Whole School Assembly

All parents and carers received a letter from Mrs Edwards just before Christmas about the national Run, Hide, Tell campaign.

Unfortunately, recent events in the UK and around the world remind us all of the terrorist threat we face. The police and security agencies are working tirelessly to protect the public but it is also important that communities remain vigilant and aware of how to protect themselves if the need arises.

As a school we have developed a new protocol for dealing with reported incidents of this nature and (in a similar way to the regular fire drill evacuation practice that we undertake as a school) we will practice the recommended ‘lockdown’ procedure too.

This week in our whole school assembly we discussed this and over the next couple of weeks students will be learning more about the national campaign and our own procedures in PSHEE lessons led by each tutor.

180112 RHT

Mr Macleod, together with a group of students, led the second part of our assembly on Wednesday. The assembly focused on the theme that all of us can make a difference, that even the most ordinary people are capable of doing extraordinary things and potentially changing the world.

Mr Macleod has written this short summary for us to read alongside his slides. Following each section are links to the student contributions.

Section 1

The presentation started with a series of images from before this year including probably THE image of 2017…the sea horse and the cotton bud as well as film of the liar bird mimicking its own destruction, warnings of destruction from nature. This was followed by slides from 2017 of political unrest and modern slavery… North Korea, Central Africa, slave markets in Libya, gold miners, brick making with section finished with Lawrence’s poem to get across what seems to be the impossibility of making any change.

Section 2

This started with Professor Cox’s conclusion to his time travel lecture where he states that it might not be possible to do the impossible but the inspiration which makes you try can mean you can change the world. Then examples of female emancipation (Girls just want to have fun…damental rights) then people who have changed the world you might know (Malala) and those most people don’t (first female to break the Saudi ban on woman drivers)…. leading to Harry’s introduction to Victor Jara…someone who used his musical talent to change perceptions and Benedict and Frankie’s summary of the extraordinary contribution to the school of the life of Solly Irving.

Section 3

Individuals who try to change the world in things they do inside and outside school. Starting with the charity initiatives of Flo then Liam and Lola introducing people they have chosen to help through the school Amnesty group reawakened by the dedication of Flo – Taner Kille and Hannan Badre El-Din. Each one finishing with a poem written by Jacky and Ellis. Finally Ermelinda summed up the recent work of Amnesty International… individuals who are changing the world.

Section 4

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things often without knowing they are changing the world… the importance of British values but also the community values of DHSB shared values like empathy, understanding equality desire to help.

Two examples – umbrella and last term’s charity day. The first showing the extraordinary example of giving up your luxuries for a total stranger just because of a belief that that is the right thing to do.

The second showing how all members of the school unite and go the extra mile when a member of the community faces a change in circumstances, forgetting the petty things to pull together… the DHSB way that moves the Arc of Justice little by little in the right direction.

Students of the Week

I’m pleased to share with you the names of our recent Students of the Week together with the reason they were nominated. I invited these students to have lunch with me today so I could find out a little more about what they’ve been doing.

James O’Sullivan 6WB and Liam Ward 6KRB for their informative presentations at the Strategies for Success evening

Sam Gilbert 11E for demonstrating resilience

Gabe Smietanka 11E for his outstanding contribution to school sport

Archie Small 8P for responsible citizenship

Nathaniel Watson-Coe 9C for helping a member of the public who was in a very vulnerable position

Tom Brown and Cameron McCance 10P for outstanding work experience reports from HMS Drake

Ben Charlton 6RFP for his fantastic enthusiasm and amazing support at the Dodgeball game which raised funds for charity

180112 SoW

Excellent Work

I have several pieces of Excellent Work to show you this week. Mrs Sheridan has sent me a piece of writing which links to the theme of our whole school assembly.

She said, “The class were asked to respond to examples of protest poetry we looked at on Amnesty International’s Words That Burn website. Edward Warren’s poem is one of many written by 8E that combined strong personal and emotional responses with careful vocabulary choices and interesting poetical methods”.

Year 7 Settlement Fieldwork Assessment

During Curriculum Challenge Week Year 7 students collected data in Mount Wise and Stonehouse. They were looking at the challenges and opportunities of regeneration and redevelopment.

These two pieces of work are excellent examples of what the students found and their geographical understanding of the issues.

Louis Perry 7P

180112 Daniel Hunt 7P

Daniel Hunt 7P

Mrs Green

A Level History

Mrs McGowan has shared this work by Ryan Merrifield 6LME which was completed during Get Ahead, our after school homework club.

She said, “This is Ryan’s A level work on the impact of war on Russia. This was a revision task and is considered to be excellent due to the organisation and information included. The task was self-led”.

180112 Excellent Work

Get Ahead

All students are welcome to attend our Get Ahead club which meets on Monday to Thursday from 15.45 to 16.45.

Mrs McGowan said, “Students or parents should register their intention to attend by using the link on this webpage.

Get Ahead is led by Mrs McGowan, Mrs Ray and student leaders and provides an ideal space for study, homework and revision.

160527 Get Ahead

And finally

Follow the Learning Commons on Twitter @DHSBLearn to see the daily Word of the Day. Today’s word is Brevity.

180112 Word

Sports Update


Congratulations to Cameron Williams who is ‘the fastest 13 year old in Britain of all time’. Cameron’s swimming club said he swam the 50m breaststroke in 31.32 secs.

Cameron already holds the British and English records for the 100m breaststroke in the same age group.

Well done Cameron!

180112 Cameron Williams


Following on from our news last week that Year 11 students Harry Edwards and Callum Preece were selected for the U16 Devon Squad you can read the first of their match reports at this link.

Well done Harry and Callum!


The Year 9 basketball team played well during their match on Wednesday evening but lost to Stoke Damerel.


Well done to the 1st XI who won their first match of the new year beating a Plymouth University side 4 – 0.

180112 1st XI

Future Events

Monday 15 – Friday 19 January – Year 12/13 Exam Week

Tuesday 16 January – DHSB Founder’s Day

Wednesday 17 January – Year 8 Parents Evening

Wednesday 24 January – PTFA Meeting


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