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17 May 2024

Ten Tors Challenge

Many congratulations to all our students who took part in the Ten Tors Challenge last weekend, including our school teams and those who participated with organisations outside school.

These are some of the students who took part in the challenge outside school.

Thomas Sweeting


West Devon Explorer Scouts

35 mile team

Rebecca Chapman


Air Cadets

55 mile team

Patrick Dunne


Air Cadets

45 mile team

Joe Goldstone


Air Cadets

45 mile team

William Yarwood


Plymouth District Explore Scout Group

35 mile team

There were four DHSB teams of six this year with two reserves and, fuelled by Mr Guy-Fierens’ legendary porridge served at dawn in our base camp, they assembled on the start line beneath a cloudless sky and an awesome display by the Red Devils parachute display team before the starting cannon fired at 7.00am.

Thank you to Dr Colvile who has shared this report of the weekend.

As the day progressed on Saturday, our students’ thorough preparation became evident with not only their route planning supporting faultless navigation, but also their focus on keeping hydrated as the temperature and humidity continued to climb.

Early on Saturday evening, it was announced that all teams had been halted for 30 minutes to allow the Army to ensure it was safe to continue with such a large number of teenagers on remote moorland in such heat. Nothing was left to chance with only those who were declared 100% fit and well allowed to continue

Meanwhile, both our 35 mile teams had already reached the staffed locations where they had planned to spend the night and prepare for the second day of the challenge, and our 55 mile team also succeeded in covering enough of their distance and camp unsupervised after the checkpoints closed at 10.30pm, close enough to the finish to complete their challenge on the second day. 

Sunday morning was even hotter, with supporters at the finish surviving by drinking iced water and being fanned by the downdraft of Merlin helicopters, so maximum respect to all the teams who were walking carrying heavy packs in that heat. So we were pleased to receive reports of our 35 and 45 mile teams making steady progress towards us and very relieved when we spotted them through binoculars shortly after 11.00am.

Team 35B finished a minute before Team 35A (on totally different routes), with 35A more than an hour ahead of all the other teams on their route and 35B the second on theirs. 

The 45 team crossed the line just after 1:00pm with over four hours to spare before the cut off time. 

Meanwhile, the 55 mile team were still on target to finish before 5.30pm but with a trek out to the far eastern side of the moor and back over the steep slopes of Cosdon Beacon ahead of them. 

They made the most difficult decision of all, to crash themselves out and consider attempting the challenge again next year when conditions may be more suitable for walking such a distance. The pain of partial success was lessened by their mode of transit back to base camp, and we were surprised to find a very excited group of five in the fallout cell saying, “We flew in the helicopter!” 

We have received a dispatch from an officer in charge of one of their checkpoints, praising the team for their leadership, conduct, teamwork and care for each other as they made such difficult decisions that day.

“The bar for 55 mile teams is very high, as all 55 mile participants are by default, strong and capable young people. Team ZF from your school caught my attention. They arrived at Kes Tor in good order, with morale and had been carrying [a team member’s] bag for several kilometres, as he was injured. Team cohesion, followership and support for each other was excellent.“

Ten Tors 2024 will go down in history as one of the years (alongside those that were affected by snow drifts or torrential rain) when Dartmoor’s variety of May weather conditions led to one of the lowest rates of completion of the challenge, with dozens of teams being crashed out. We are therefore very proud of what all our teams achieved.

Thanks are extended to all members of staff who helped with preparing food, minibuses and equipment for the challenge, in addition to the small army of parent volunteers on the Thursday before the event who helped to set up our Okehampton base camp.

Further photos can be found on the @DHSBOutdoor Instagram page and the results of our four DHSB teams can be found at these links.

Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award

Congratulations to all our students who have completed their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award this year.

Students have all taken part in four day walking and/or canoeing expeditions on Dartmoor, Brecon Beacons, Cumbria, Wye Valley or Slovenia. They also had to complete at least twelve months of volunteering; helping out at school, food banks, libraries, children's sports groups, mountain biking clubs, vaccination centres and scouts to name a few! 

They also did at least six and twelve months in the Physical and Skill categories, showing real commitment to trying new activities and developing their skills. 

Once complete, participants are invited to attend a Gold Celebration Event. I was lucky enough to attend the event at Buckingham Palace last week, and met some of our current and former students there. 

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh made a speech and met the attendants in the garden, and we also heard speeches by a recent participant and the foreign correspondent Clive Myrie.

It was a wonderful way to celebrate our students' achievement! 

Mrs Wills

Year 13 students

John Alvin

Daniel Boyns

Samuel Haws

Laurence Jenkins

Ayush Kunwar

Braden Toms

Amelie White

Former students

Owain Acharya

Edward Fox

Dominic Ambler

Murray Brown

Luke Chapman

William  Hargrave

Joshua Hawkins

Henry Macdonald

Charlotte Nordmann

Rufus Sadler

Noah Struthers

Sebastian Whitford

Student News

Well done to Will Wooller 12ALG.

Will is a Sea Cadet and last summer was put forward for selection as a Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet. He was successful at the interview stage and attended his investiture in October.

The role includes attending events alongside the Lord Lieutenant (the King’s representative) of Cornwall. Will is pictured supporting the visit of William, Prince of Wales, last week.

Will has also been successful in the rigorous selection process for the national role of First Sea Lord Cadet. He will represent Cornwall on a national basis, alongside five other sea cadets from the UK, representing the views of sea cadets to the organisation’s command and to the Royal Navy. 

These are both huge achievements, collectively involving two interviews, preparing and delivering a ten minute presentation, drafting his biography of sea cadet achievements and writing a one page submission as to why he should be selected. 

Well done Will, we look forward to hearing more about your time in these roles.

Excellent Work

Thank you to Mrs Johnson who has shared these examples of Excellent Work.

She said, “Whilst studying Protest Poetry, Year 8 students were tasked with researching a protest for homework. Based on their chosen protest, they then designed two creative pieces to reflect the protest. Here is a selection of their work, which featured poems, protest banners, memory boxes, chants and newspaper articles”.

Use these links to read more Excellent Work.

Student News

Well done to Oscar Westbury who took part in the Swim England south east region age group competition in Southampton earlier in May. 

Oscar dived very well on the platform, 3m and 1m boards and came home with gold, silver and bronze medals.


Sixth Form Enrichment and Tutorial

This week, with our Year 13 students on study leave, our Year 12 students began to think practically about their UCAS applications. Those who are planning to apply for university had a session with Mr Burt that took them through the application process step by step.

From signing up on the website, browsing courses and writing personal statements through to speaking to teachers for references and timescales of application progress. 

Those who have expressed an interest in applying for Oxbridge this year, were then fortunate enough to have a visit in period 2 from an former DHSB student, Chris Bickerton, who is now a professor of modern European Politics and Society at Cambridge University.

Chris was able to give the students a great inside perspective on the application process and what to expect from interviews and entrance tests. We are so grateful to him for coming in and sharing his knowledge with us.

Mrs Briars-Delve

Sparx Maths and Sparx Reader

Each week we celebrate our highest performers in both Sparx Maths and Sparx Reader, two of our core homework platforms. We are proud of all of our students who complete their homework each week to such a high standard but these six students deserve a special mention.

Well done!


Over 500 tickets printed and a car full of coach number stands, high vis jackets, a PTFA flag and ten buckets full of useful 'on a coach' items can only mean one thing!

It's very nearly time for our annual Alton Towers trip! Just one more sleep!  See you at 4.30am tomorrow.

As if that isn't enough excitement our Summer Disco tickets have just gone on sale! 

Here is the link to buy tickets:

Please note our new venue - Fever, Derry’s Cross.

Please submit your online consent form as soon as you receive it (this will arrive in a separate email immediately after your purchase). Many students had a delayed entry at our last disco as we had not received their consent forms. They will not be allowed entry without them.

We hope everyone going to Alton Towers has a lovely day.  A big thank you to all our volunteers - the trip really could not go ahead without you.

Mrs Kinsella 

PTFA Liaison 

Sports Update


Mr Orkney reports the U15 tennis team finished runners up by one game to Hele's School in the final of the Plymouth Schools tennis competition this week.



The Year 8 football team finished runners up in the Devon Cup on Wednesday losing  2 - 0 to St Peter’s School, Exeter in the final.

The whole squad put in a gallant performance but were unable to score against a very strong St Peter’s team.

DHSB should be proud of their efforts and the way they accepted defeat with dignity and respect. 

Well done to all those involved in this exciting season and good luck to the team who are playing against Lipson this afternoon.


Mr Carpenter said it was an excellent day at the Plymouth Schools Athletics Championships for DHSB yesterday with lots of great action from our students in all events including good performances from Brian, Owen, Freddie and Michael in the sprints.


And finally

We have been asked to advertise the launch of free Creative Media sessions for SEND young people.


Plymouth City Council’s Community Youth Team in collaboration with FOTONOW are launching new creative media sessions for young people aged 14 - 22 with SEND. No EHCP required.


The sessions will run from 6:30pm - 8:30pm every Thursday, term time only at City College, starting on 6 June 2024.

If you are interested in signing up then please use the QR code on this poster.


Michelle Ollier

Participation and Evaluation Worker

Community Connections

Plymouth City Council


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