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17 April 2020

This week in the Head’s Blog I am including our termly update on the progress we are making towards our school priorities.

This was written in March but I have delayed sharing with you until now.

Recent Communications

All communications sent to parents and students since the school closed for the majority of students in March can be found in this folder on our website.

I have also attached the two most recent letters here.

I continue to be extremely proud of the DHSB community and I’d like to give my sincerest thanks to students, parents and families for your support and kindness during what continues to be a challenging time for the school.

Please remember you can get in touch with us if you need anything by using this email address

PSHEE Activities

Starting today a new Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE) activity will be available through Google Classroom each week, to replace the tutor sessions that students would normally have. We’re sorry that it’s not possible to set this through Homeworky, however, we will include an overview in the Head’s Blog each week.

We’re asking students to share and talk about the activity with their family and friends where possible as many of the topics are more for discussion than writing.

Ms Moreton has added this message for Year 11 students, “In less unusual times you would be using these sessions for revision, so instead we will be suggesting activities that can prepare you for either Sixth Form or employability skills for those of you beginning apprenticeships or other qualifications at college”.

This Week's Activity

For this first week we are asking students in Years 7 to 10 to consider the power of kindness, something we all need to focus on in current times. We have shared two documents which can be completed by students each day or each week, either on paper or digitally.

Year 11 students can complete the kindness tasks and we are also asking them to reconsider and confirm their plans for next year.

Over the next few weeks each student in Year 11 will be contacted by either their Head or Deputy Head of House, either by phone or email. We want to check that students are coping as well as possible with the lockdown and exam cancellation, and we will also be asking them to review where necessary their plans for next year.

Ms Moreton added, “Students, please give some thought to this and discuss with parents if possible, so that you are clear as to your preferred option, but also your plan B and maybe even plan C. We can then alter or confirm your intended destination as appropriate”.

Young Devon Wellbeing Toolkit

Thank you to Mrs Weaver for sharing this update from Young Devon which includes tips and techniques for maintaining positive mental health during the lockdown and beyond. I hope you may find this useful.

Excellent Work

Our home-learning examples of Excellent Work this week have been sent to me by Mrs Downes, Head of English.

Mrs Downes said, "My Year 8 have written poems after studing Kate Tempest's poem The Teen's Speech. I particularly enjoyed these two poems. These are first drafts".

Teen’s Speech by Bailey Miles

I see the pain in your eyes and feeling like you do I wish i could take these years away and skip them for you Being a teen is very hard, it is not really fair It gets to a point where you start to not really care You don't have to tell me how you feel everyday If you ever need someone to talk to don't let anyone get in your way If you could see in my eyes, how confident and true You becoming a young person, but still some part youth

Teen’s Speech by Ewan Piercy

We are all online, Engrossed in Our little screens Logged out from the outside world, And forgetting who we really are.

Competition Time

Spanish Poetry

Ms Brooking is asking students (any age) to create a Haiku (in Spanish) about a Spanish-speaking country, and email them to her by 7 May. This is for a nationwide competition with prizes available (and Ms Brooking says she was also choose the best ones from DHSB for additional prizes when we return!).

Here is an example:

Me gusta Cuba (5 syllables) Descanso en la playa (7 syllables) Y bailo salsa (5 syllables)

Please send your Haiku to Ms Brooking at

Rolls-Royce Young Designer Competition

Ms Brown has asked me to let you know about this competition.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is calling on aspiring house-bound designers, up to the age of 16, to design their dream Rolls-Royce of the future.

School History Project Essay Competition

If you could write an essay in answer to this question then this competition is for you!

“If 1066 is said to be the most important date in English history, what is the equivalent in another country?”

For more information please use this link or contact Ms Mintoft at

eSafety Advice

In so many ways the COVID19 lockdown has shown how kind, compassionate and hardworking people are writes Ms Buckler. In our small community we have set up a foodbank, have a Facebook group so that people can ask for help in picking up vital items or grab advice about working from home, we even have a team of people who are on the end of the phone, if you just need someone to talk to.  Unfortunately though this time has also brought out the worst in others and online fraud and scamming is something that we all need to be on the lookout for.

The Guardian reports that “Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK, intelligence analysts have monitored a rapid escalation in criminals gangs using a range of scams, many of them targeting elderly people who are self-isolating[… ] There have been 509 to date with total losses among those targeted of £1.6m.”

This week, we will focus on a some new and emerging scams surrounding the coronavirus, advice taken from this link.

Bank vishing (phone) scams

Scammers are purporting to be a local council worker organising food parcels for senior citizens over the phone in an effort to obtain personal bank details. They ask if they require shopping before proceeding to ask questions regarding their bank account details. Always remember to only give out your personal or financial information to services you have consented to and are expecting to be contacted by. Don’t be afraid to hang up and contact your bank or an organisation directly using a known email or phone number.

Fake ‘Critical Update’ phishing campaigns

Fake phishing messages are urging victims to install “updates” for popular web conferencing sites, but it is a malware designed to steal credentials. The messages used in this campaign used varying subject lines such as “Critical Update” or “Alert!”, and are sent from spoofed addresses to appear to have come directly from the web conferencing provider. Always question uninvited approaches and contact companies directly using a known email or phone number and never click on links or download attachments.

Impersonation emails and SMS texts

If you receive an email, text or WhatsApp message out of the blue purporting to be from the government, HMRC, World Health Organisation (WHO) or a charity about coronavirus, then take a moment to think before you before part with any money or information. Never click on any links or download attachments as fraudsters will try to get victims to download malware or enter their personal details into fake websites which can be used to steal your identity.

Phishing calls

If you receive a call offering protective face masks, hand sanitiser, testing kits, medicine, etc.  be aware that they may not always be legitimate. If you do receive a call, don’t be afraid to hang up and research the company first. A large number of victims have  ordered goods over the phone or online, offering up their bank details, and items have never arrived.

Panic decisions

Anxiety surrounding the coronavirus may lead people to rush into decisions without thinking rationally. It is important if you are ever contacted and asked for personal and/or financial information to STOP, Take Five, and think critically about what you are doing.

Holiday cancellations

With many holidays being affected as a result of COVID-19 there will inevitably be an increase in scams offering refunds or rebookings. If you receive a call or email from someone purporting to be from a travel company or airline offering anything holiday related be very cautious. The best thing to do is contact the party you booked your holiday with directly.

For some excellent up to date advice, visit this website.

11+ Familiarisation Update

Due to the current school closure it is unlikely that we will be able to run the 11+ Familiarisation Session on Saturday 6 June 2020 as planned. However, we hope to provide an opportunity, before the actual 11+ tests, for boys to attend a session when they will sit an English comprehension and composition paper and a Maths paper, both set by the school. We don’t yet know when this will be.

The familiarisation session gives an opportunity to reassure and reduce anxieties for the boys intending to sit the 11+ tests and if we can we will provide this before the tests in September as this is in the best interests of the boys.

If we are unable to provide a session before the 11+ tests then we will send new familiarisation materials (Maths and English) to those who have expressed an interest, to use at home.

Please complete the Google Form at this link to express your interest in this session (date and time of the session is to be confirmed).

We will send you an update when we have more information to share.

Please note the school reception is closed and there is no requirement to collect a registration pack. Please do not attempt to visit the school but complete and submit the Google Form if you wish to receive further information.


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