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15 February 2019

This week I am pleased to share the tenth anniversary edition of DHSB Today, our school newsletter.

Many of the themes and features remain the same as we continue to celebrate student achievements and write about opportunities for student leadership.

Throughout this edition you’ll find features from the very first publication of this newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading these items from the archives alongside catching up with what’s happening at DHSB in 2019.

One aspect of DHSB that I am particularly proud of is the importance we place on preserving the heritage of the school. This helps to provide our current community with a sense of identity, purpose and belonging. We continue to be creative and innovative in a fast-changing world and it is important to celebrate and recognise our unique culture and the environment here at DHSB. I know that students, staff and families who are here today appreciate just what a wonderful community we are part of. DHSB has been and always will be a community that truly values its people and the relationships that are built on trust.

Please support our school community by sharing this edition of DHSB Today with your family and friends.

Talking and Listening Skills

As you will be aware DHSB is an integral part of a new government-funded project involving the majority of both primary and secondary schools across the city and which will run for the next two years. The aim is to promote talking and listening skills in the classroom so that school leavers will have the most valued skillset amongst employers: communication.

Talking also promotes the thinking that underpins quality writing, an essential medium in excellent exam performance which is a key DHSB priority too.

Each week in the Head’s Blog we will share a weekly topic which will be linked to one of the themes of the week here in school; this will provide the opportunity for you to discuss this at home as a family with your child.

This week we are sharing our whole school assembly slides. The assembly on Wednesday was led by Ms Wilkinson and Sixth Form student George Allan on the theme of acceptance.

Love has no labels

Next Steps

Congratulations are due to George Allan not only for speaking in our assembly this week but also for being awarded a place and a financial aid package to study at a top US university (Haverford College). George participated in the Sutton Trust US Programme which is run in partnership with the US-UK Fulbright Commission.

George will take up his place in Pennsylvania this autumn and said, “I originally applied to the programme because I love the American university system. There is so much more freedom in study and subject choice, and that’s something I really wanted. It still feels so unreal that I’ve been accepted into the university of my dreams and I can’t thank the Sutton Trust US Programme enough for all their support during the process.”

190215 George Allan

All students in the Sixth Form have been busy making plans for their next steps and Ms Davidson says that there are currently four main pathways followed by our leavers:-

Higher education direct from school Gap year then higher education Higher apprenticeships or sponsored school leaver programmes Direct employment / seeking employment

She added, “We wish all our students well in their future lives as they work for the things that their success can bring them: freedom, joy, new friendships, a sense of purpose and long-lasting relationships. Our young people should move forward with confidence as we know they will make a difference to our society in the future”.

You can read more about the Sixth Form in the current edition of DHSB Today.

Alumni News

We were pleased to hear that Joe Peck (who also received an offer to study at an American university with support from the Sutton Trust) has been asked to be a columnist for the Yale Politic writing primarily about European and American politics.

190215 Joe Peck

Well done also to former student Dave King who has taken the British title again (60m hurdles).

Congratulations Dave!

190215 Dave King (2)

If you have any news of former students then please contact my PA, Sarah Nicholson, with your updates.

Youth Speaks

On Saturday we hosted the regional round of ‘Youth Speaks’ a Rotary competition which is designed to challenge teams of students to perform, persuade and entertain the audience with their skill in public speaking.

Well done to Som, Zara and Connor who performed magnificently and go through to the next stage of the competition in Saltash on 23 March. Thank you to Mr Riggs for his support.

190215 Youth Speaks

Learning from Others

The Classics Department of Bristol University offered a workshop to our Ancient History students in Year 11 and 12. The workshop was led by a PhD student in Egyptology and the theme was the Roman Pharaohs.

The goal of the workshop was to get students to participate in group discussions on how Roman emperors used the image and titles of Pharaohs in the first century AD. Using primary sources students were encouraged to share ideas about the nature and purpose of honorific titles.

The aim was to compare and contrast the use of these titles in Ancient Rome and in the province of Egypt. This session led to interesting conversations about how we learn at university and helped students to realise that university is not just a series of lectures but more than that learning from others by an active participation in discussions.

190215 Classics

Ms Welton

Here’s the answer… so what’s the question?

Last week, Year 7 and 8 families were invited to attend a fun, interactive workshop entitled Here’s the answer… so what’s the question? which focused around the importance of a growth mindset when trying to solve problems.

Growth mindset has been previously introduced to all students at DHSB and this session focussed on how parents can help to encourage the development of a growth mindset in their child.

Mrs Edwards explained what a ‘growth mindset’ is, the importance of failure and how important words such as ‘yet’ are when supporting someone to achieve a goal or solve a problem. The slides are linked below should you wish to find out more.

Parents can play a very important role in supporting their children to embrace problems.and in the presentation are a few useful phrases and hints to use.

Mr Martin then invited families to work together and challenge one another playing games and solving problems, focusing on developing a strategic response to each loss or failed attempt and embracing a growth mindset. There are three problems for you to try linked below should you wish and the answers will be in the Head’s Blog after half term!

190215 Growth

Mrs Edwards

Speech and Drama

Congratulations to the following boys for their LAMDA speech and drama examination results:

George Cleeland-Smith – Grade 2 Solo Acting – Pass with Merit

Lalit Kathiresan – Grade 7 Verse & Prose speaking – Pass with Distinction

Preet Pradeep – Grade 7 Solo Acting – Pass with Distinction

Well done also to Anunt Dhulkotia who competed at the City of Plymouth Festival of Music and Speech and Drama. Anunt was commended and placed third in his sight reading class and won his prose speaking class with a distinction mark of 88%. He was presented with a festival medal and the Lisa Kay Trophy.

Pictured are Preet and George

190215 Speech

Plymouth Chess

Well done to Ayush Kunwar and Ben Bracey who represented Plymouth in last week’s Bloodworth junior chess competition. Plymouth competed for the first time in several years, taking on sides from Torquay and Newton Abbot, as well as three-time winners Colyton. The Plymouth team recorded a very creditable 50% on debut.

Nick Butland (Devon County Chess Association)

Ayush and Ben are pictured at this week’s school chess club

180215 Chess

Excellent Work

Ms Buckler shared with me the Learning Commons book review website. She particularly wanted to highlight the work by Aidan Ricketts and Joe Watkinson – these are star reviews!

I also have some Maths to show you this week.

Ms Cunningham said, “One of my Year 8 students sent me this link after using Desmos in Curriculum Challenge Week. Sakthivelan Pandy 8W made his own activity and looked at the equation of a circle and trigonometric functions”.

Ten Tors Training Walk Two

Well on training walk two it was out with the snow this week but in with Storm Erik. All four teams took on the SW side of the Moor. Mist and poor visibility at the start of the day lifted within the hour in exchange for wind, rain hail and bright sunshine. All four teams again honed their navigational skills whilst trying to use the landscape to select their chosen routes. Teams learnt that marsh areas and mires are really hard going in these sodden conditions and probably best avoided when planning their routes.

Water levels were very high across Dartmoor which allowed for teams to practice river crossings without their rucksacks again working as a team on both sides of the water.

190215 TT2

190215 TT1

Mr Clifford

Sports Update


The Year 11 basketball team lost 33 – 16 to Plympton Academy this week.

Mr Bunney said, “A great effort by all, just struggled with the putting the ball in the hoop at one end and stopping the other team scoring at the other end”.

There will be a return fixture after half term.

190215 Year 11


Well done to the Year 7 team, through to the quarter finals of the Devon Cup after a fantastic performance.

190215 Year 7

The Year 9 football team also put in a strong performance against Plymstock School and come away with a win in the Plymouth Cup.

Congratulations to the 2nd XI who beat Plymouth University 3 – 2 to reach the Devon Wednesday League Cup Final.

190215 2nd XI

House Football

Well done to Campbell House – the winners of the Year 7 house football.

180215 Year 7 House

Mr Strang said, “Well done all, a lovely atmosphere. Excellent participation”.

Congratulations also to Winstanley who beat Edison to win the Year 8 house football competition.

Future Events

Friday 15 February

Final day of spring term one

Monday 25 February

First day of spring term two (B week)

Thursday 28 February 17.30 – 19.00

Emotional logic events for Year 7 parents

Wednesday 6 March

Year 12 parents evening

Wednesday 13 March 18.00

PTFA meeting


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