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16 October 2020

I am pleased to inform you that our new electric powered gates at the main school entrance are now in operation and will be locked during the school day.

Visitors will gain access by video entry.

Please note that any visit to the school site must be pre-arranged and where possible parental meetings will take place using either by telephone or Google Meet. There are parking bays outside the school gate for visitors.

Parents evenings this year will be online. We have trialled the new system and will be using this for the first time for the Year 13 parents evening on Thursday 26 November. Dates for other year groups will be added to the school calendar and information will be provided before each evening.

DHSB People

This is the second in our new, regular Head's Blog feature getting to know some of our valued members of staff. Mrs Johns has worked at DHSB since 1998 and is leading our new visitor reception which is temporarily located in the Conference Room while the Guardhouse is being refurbished.

I put these questions to Mrs Johns.

Q What do you like best about DHSB?

The dedicated staff, teaching and support, who endeavour to do their utmost for DHSB students to enhance their educational and emotional journey through their unique transition in life's ever changing facets.

What is your favourite part of the school?

All of it. We are very fortunate to work in such prestigious settings and the history behind it.

Obviously I am looking forward to the re-furbishment of the old gate/guardhouse which will be the new visitor reception, where I will be working.

Engineering Education Scheme

Very well done to our EES team members who have received a fantastic assessment and report.

Sixth Form students Samarth Basavapatna, Grace Hodge, Solomon Kurzman, Adam Parsons, Olivia Ambler and Daisy Murphy worked with Babcock to develop a prototype shore cable deployment aid to transfer cables onto the ship.

Samarth said this about the project, “Our task was to create a system to decrease the human burden and increase safety when transporting shore supply cables onto ships to power them while they dock. Over the course of a year, we designed and prototyped a series of linear cable engines to carry the cables. This was accompanied by a project report. The year Included an introduction day with team building activities at HMS Raleigh and a two-day residential at Plymouth University where we were given the opportunity to use their workshops to facilitate us with building our planned prototype. EES gave us essential practical experience in the engineering field as well as an idea of what it is like to work independently outside the school environment. The project also helped us improve several soft skills such as organisation, planning and teamwork which were all essential in order to solve a real life problem faced by the industry, overcoming challenges constrained by a deadline and budget”.

He added, “Overall, It has not only provided an invaluable experience but also helped us feel more secure about our choices going forward to university or elsewhere. We would all definitely recommend the EES to any aspiring engineers”.

Mr Morris, who worked with the student team, was delighted when he received their final assessment and report.

Here is an extract.

You should be immensely proud of this project. You were given a real problem and worked together well to product a genuinely viable solution to it. It’s the sort of solution that has seasoned engineers slapping their heads and thinking “why didn’t anyone think of this before?” and I love that! Furthermore, you have presented your project in such a mature and professional manner with this excellent report.

The team has been awarded the Gold Level Industrial Cadet award and is pictured here during one of last year's team building activities.

Many congratulations.

Student News

Usually the Head’s Blog is full of sports news but with no fixtures taking place at the moment I have asked students to let me know what they are doing outside school.

Well done to Jack Benzie 8S who has joined the MTB collective that meet on Sundays.

Jack said, “The MTB Collective has been recently formed just after lockdown and we cycle at Cann Woods. The collective teaches how to be an effective mountain bike rider to all age groups and abilities. I've now ridden twice with them and I'm in the highest ability group.”

The MTB Collective is a Community Interest Company that uses mountain biking to improve outcomes for people from across Plymouth.

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If you have taken up a new hobby, if you are learning a new skill or taking part in a sports team then I’d like to hear from you.

eSafety Advice

Just a quick update from the Learning Commons this week.

SWGfL (South West Grid for Learning) and Internet Matters have recently created an inclusive digital safety hub which empowers parents and carers with tailored advice and insight into the digital lives of those children and young people most likely to experience online risks.

The site aims to to help children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have a safer and more positive time online find a range of expert guides providing advice on the main activities that children do online. A fully inclusive resource like this is the first of its kind and I wanted to bring it to your attention.

Theme of the Week

I like to share with you our theme of the week to give you an opportunity to talk through the topics with your child or children at home.

This week our House Assemblies (delivered to students in their tutor groups) focused on aspects of Mental Health Awareness Day.

Mr Bunney, Head of Winstanley, prepared the slides for all houses to use and they can be seen at this link.

Young Minds and Hello Yellow

And finally this week and linking to our theme of the week, well done to the whole school community. Last Friday we supported the Young Minds #Helloyellow appeal and raised £875.31 for this charity.


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