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18 March 2016

Although this has been a very short half term of just five weeks we still have plenty to update on the progress we are making as a school towards our current priorities and to ensure that we strive to achieve our strategic vision that ‘Everyone Succeeds’.

We have targeted the most significant challenges since September and have formed our School Development Plan which you can read here.

Priority 1: Students achieve the highest academic outcomes

Implementation of curriculum and assessment changes

Over the last term we have been continuing to improve our Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PHSEE) curriculum and now have some great curriculum maps to help you gain an understanding of what is covered in each year. See the example below: All of these can be accessed via the school website.

Y7 YG mapping

You can keep up to date by reading Mrs Moreton’s weekly blog which covers all Information, Advice and Guidance at DHSB.

Curriculum Changes

There are so many curriculum changes that it can be difficult to understand what is happening. To help with this please remember we have an area of the website which will be regularly updated to help with this.

As you are also aware we have been running information evenings about curriculum and assessment changes to help communication with parents.

So far two evenings have been run for Year 7 and Year 9 parents to help familiarise them with the new assessment system. This involved a short presentation and opportunities for questions to be asked. The feedback from parents has been positive.

Priority 2: All staff seek to become even better

Emphasis on internal collaboration for CPD to build collective capacity

Since September as a school we have been focusing on developing strategies to improve the literacy of students. This term we led a training event after school where all teachers shared examples of strategies that they have been using in their own classroom and how this is having a positive impact on their lessons and their students. It was a great atmosphere and also brilliant to see so many teachers passionately sharing what works well with others so that they can incorporate the strategies in their own teaching.

Priority 4: Collaboration and Community

You may be aware that the school is 120 years old this year and we would like to celebrate this with a special event the DHSB@120. If you know any Old boys or Alumni please make them aware that they can join us for an afternoon and evening of celebration and fun on Saturday 9 July at the school. If you are interested in finding out more please contact Geoff Davis by email or by calling the school.

In addition to this we have also been promoting our ‘Where are they now’ section of the website with individual case studies of former students. These stories help inspire the next generation of students. Once again if you know any Old boys or Alumni please encourage them to contact my PA, Sarah Nicholson.

Priority 5: Creative and Entrepreneurial Spirit

Continue to use the latest cutting edge technology creatively and innovatively

Digital Leaders

Our Digital Leadership team have been extremely active recently and are producing regular support to our school community with all things Digital. Their role is to:

  1. support staff and students in adopting and using technology

  2. help shape the use of technology and promote eSafety within school

  3. openly share advice, resources and skills with the school community

  4. create innovative solutions and projects to inspire fellow students

  5. embrace the spirit of community outreach and foster partnerships with others

  6. develop their personal leadership skills and gain valuable experience

They are producing regular help videos and blog posts; you can view them or subscribe to their newsletter here

Enterprising Culture

It is good to see we were featured by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust recently as a case study on schools with an enterprising culture. It is also touches on our approach to digital student leadership mentioned above. The full article can be found here


DHSB Today

Students, parents and staff have just received their copy of the March edition of DHSB Today with lots of information and stories about what has been happening in school this year. Please share your copy with friends and neighbours.

An electronic version will be released early next week.

160318 DHSB Today

German Exchange

Students and staff enjoyed a week of Plymouth sunshine which made their activities all the more successful and enjoyable.

We were sad to say ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ to our friends on Thursday morning but Mrs Saunders and Mr Gomez are already planning next year’s programme.

160318 German Exchange2

160318 German Exchange

Big Bang Fair

We’ve also enjoyed seeing and hearing about the Big Bang Fair this week. Well done to the boys who worked hard on their project. They placed DHSB on a remote island allowing them to develop innovative solutions to become a fully self-sustaining school not reliant on fossil fuels.

They are pictured here presenting their findings to the judges.

160318 Big Bang1

160318 Big Bang2

Toastmasters International

12 students from Y ears 10 – 13 had the privilege of taking part in an internationally recognised Speechcraft course run by Toastmasters International writes Mrs Lilley.

Spanning eight weeks the students learnt how to improve their ability to speak at meetings, in presentations and at interviews. Run for the first time in the South West, this opportunity also gave them vital life skills of time management, team work and confidence to present their ideas in a polite, considered, logical and interesting way.

The course culminated in a final evening presenting to staff and parents including impromptu ‘table topics’ where the students had to think on their feet. We are very proud of their progress and commitment to the course. Keep your eyes open for the next course if you would like to take part.

160318 Toastmasters

The Learning Commons

Several parents accepted our invitation to visit the Learning Commons on Tuesday after school. If you missed this opportunity then there will be another chance to view the facility during the summer term.

Alternatively contact the Director of the Learning Commons, Ben Forte, to make an individual appointment.

160318 Learning Commons

Where Are They Now

As I mentioned above, we’re always pleased to hear from Old Boys.

Pictured here is Tim Ede as he takes up his place at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. Well done Tim!

There are two new interviews (with Matthew Strode and Andy Townsend) for you to read and enjoy on the Where Are They Now pages.

160318 Tim Ede

Whole School Assembly

Mr Coombes led a fascinating assembly this week introducing us to all six recent Nobel Prize winners. You can see his slides and link to the video clips he used here.

Sports Update

National Indoor Rowing Championships

Congratulations to these four students who competed at the national indoor rowing championships as part of the Plymouth team (boys and girls). Both teams took gold in the 6,100m race and have won a VIP trip to the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race on Easter Sunday.

160318 Rowing

Dylan Tomkins, Jonathan Christie, Lily Harris and Jack Adams


Well done to our Year 7 Rugby team who competed at the county finals and finished in second place (by just one point).

Mr Bunney said the boys played very well all day.

160318 Year 7 Devon Rugby


We’ve just heard that our Year 11 team is through to the Devon Cup semi-final after coming from behind to beat Plymstock School 5 – 4.


On Sunday, at the Plymouth stage of the National Badminton Competition, our U12 and U14 team put in a lot of effort, commitment and hard work which led to great results.

The U14 team gained the silver medal. Well done to the team members, Jamie Seow, Robert Liu and Izzy Hatton. They were one girl short, but still managed to finish in second place.

The U12 team went one better and managed to win the gold (once again missing a girl). The team of three, Fardeen Gafoor, George Teague and Izzy Hatton are now through to the nationals in Milton Keynes.

Tom Cooper said, “Well done to all; everyone did a fantastic job”.

160318 Badminton

Robert, Jamie, George and Fardeen


Mr Bunney reports that the Year 11 basketball team beat Stoke Damerel with a great performance.

Sport Relief

Well done to Edison House who organised our Sport Relief events today.

Diver Matthew Dixon was in school and talked to Year 8 students in their assembly this morning, and students and staff took part in the Sport Relief Mile in sunshine at lunchtime.

Edison will reveal the amount raised very soon.

160318 Matthew Dixon

Matthew Dixon

160318 SportRelief1

and the runners are off…

160318 SportRelief2

some chose to compete in fancy dress

Events Update

21 March – Oxbridge Information Event for Students 23 March – Year 7 Parents Assessment Evening 24 March – Final day of the Spring term 11 April – First day of the Summer term (A week)


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