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12 June 2020

In response to the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, it has been extremely positive to see that our students have been reflecting on how DHSB can play a positive role in moving this forward.

As you know our school community does not tolerate racism or will ever accept any prejudice or ignorance.

In recent years we have continued to make improvements to our curriculum and ethos but like wider society we are fully aware there is still more that we can do to fulfill our duty to address social issues. We will continue to listen and empower our young people to help tackle this important issue.

I wanted to share some thoughts and sources of information for discussion; please see below comments from former President Barack Obama and some other UK based links.

Stand Up to Racism is a UK anti-racism organisation who were also behind the nationwide #TakeTheKnee this week

Show Racism the Red Card is a UK anti-racism charity with its roots in football, Show Racism the Red Card uses education, training, and media to tackle racism in UK society.

Also linked to this, one of our students contacted me to raise awareness of a campaign called ‘Fill in the Blanks’ to support mandatory teaching on the British Empire in the National Curriculum. It is positive to see that DHSB students in Year 8 study this area already and I know that Mrs Mintoft and others in the department are continually looking at other ways of focusing on important areas of history.

Mrs Welton added that many of these topics are also covered in Classics at Key Stage 3; our students are extremely fortunate that they have such a broad and balanced curriculum offer that other schools are unable to offer, for example covering the system of slavery in ancient Rome in both Year 7 and Year 8.

I read an interesting article about Sir Francis Drake which I have shared below; one of our school buildings is named after him and we have had some members of the community ask will we review this. As with everything we do as a school community, we will listen, reflect, discuss and debate with students and staff in the future.

Dr Elaine Murphy, the University’s Associate Professor of Maritime and Naval History, explores the legacy behind Tavistock-born, Sir Francis Drake.

Whole School Assembly

A reminder that I am asking students and families to contribute to our next whole school assembly.

Please use this Google form to let me know what you have been doing during lockdown. Please upload a photo if possible and submit the form by Sunday 14 June - thank you.

These are just a few Ideas of what you could include.

  • What you have learnt about yourself or you may have learnt how to do something new?

  • A picture of you reading your favourite book.

  • A short poem you have created about what has been happening over the last couple of months.

  • Any new and creative ways that you are using technology during this time.

  • Any interesting encounters with nature you have had during the lockdown period or have you noticed things about the environment that you haven't appreciated before?

The whole school assembly led by Mr Macleod in May 2020 has had a significant impact in the school and wider community.

During the assembly Mr Riggs shared a personal account of the kindness he experienced from staff in Derriford Hospital's Intensive Care Unit.

He said: "The only thing I remember is absolute calm, absolute kindness and the very best of care that is available to anybody in the world."

The assembly has been posted on the University Hospitals Plymouth website in the news section.

Sixth Form and Alumni News

Thank you to former students Henry Spencer and George Irving for supporting our programme of Year 12 enrichment.

Henry met our Year 12 aspirant Medical students and shared his wisdom and insights with them at our Medic Google meet on Tuesday.

Ms Davidson said, “It was super to see several students engaging with the chat thread with questions and contributions”.

George who is currently studying at Cambridge University gave up his time to attend a virtual meeting of the Physics Society. Thank you for Mr Colvile for organising and supporting this enrichment.

Excellent Work

Our examples of Excellent Work this week are from Eddie Skinner 7N and have been shared by Ms Baker in the Maths Department.

These are examples of Eddie’s work on coordinates and straight line graphs, and Ms Baker says he is just one of many Year 7 students who are working incredibly hard.

11+ Familiarisation and Registration

A reminder that parents can now express an interest in receiving 11+ familiariation materials and support and can register for the actual 11+ tests.

There are two Google forms to complete and submit.

We have also created a page of admissions frequently asked questions. Please let my PA, Sarah Nicholson, know if you have a question which isn't answered here.

PSHEE Activities

Thank you to Ms Moreton who has shared the PSHEE and Careers activities scheduled for today.

Years 7 - 9

This week's lesson is all about Sleep. No, this doesn't mean an excuse to snooze for an hour, I'm afraid! We have all heard a lot about the importance of looking after our physical and mental health during this strange situation. We recently set a physical challenge to take more regular exercise which hopefully students are managing to keep going. Another key element for maintaining good physical and mental health, as well as developing the resilience we all need, is to get sufficient quality sleep.

The presentation for this lesson takes students through some of the thinking and science behind what makes "good" sleep, and also hopefully will help them to assess, and if necessary improve, the quality of their sleep.

Year 10

There are five different activities to choose from this week, all connected to work related learning, entrepreneurship or employability skills, especially working on problem solving, using real life examples. Students read about the situation, identify the problem; think of a few solutions; and finally choose which is the best.

Year 11

This week we are concentrating on those students hoping and intending to come back to DHSB to study for A levels. If a student is definitely not intending to study for A levels either at DHSB or in another sixth form they should use the time to check that alternative plans are in place as far as possible.

In these very unusual times there is still help available to students who are unsure who should make email contact with their Form Tutor or Head of House, Ms Moreton or Jenny Wall our Careers Adviser. (

For students who are intending to study further for A levels, subject leaders at DHSB have populated a spreadsheet with suggestions for preparation for most subjects, ranging through different topics, reading suggestions and websites to look at.


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