Thank you once again to our students, staff, parents and carers for all your hard work in engaging in the new remote learning phase.
We continue to receive positive feedback on how this is progressing.
These are some of the ways that all of our students are benefiting from this high quality remote learning:
Students continue to be taught all of their broad and balanced normal curriculum offer with their normal teachers.
Students continue to receive high quality teaching instruction from their subject specialists and receive regular feedback.
Students are having regular live lessons with all of their subject teachers.
Students are having regular engagement with their peers through these collaborative learning approaches.
Students are having regular engagement with members of their tutor group and their tutor to support their wellbeing.
Very well done to Isaac Souray 10S who recently won the Plymouth City Council's Hidden Beauty in Plymouth photography competition.
The judging panel included Councillor Jemima Laing, the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People.
Councillor Laing said: “We really were impressed with the variety of pictures that were submitted as part of this competition and I’d like to thank everyone who took part. The over winner with his picture of Drake’s Island was 15 year old Isaac Souray”.
Isaac said about his photo, “My image was taken through the Royal William Yard archway. It shows Drake’s Island through at the time of a sunset. I felt like the colours really portrayed the vibrancy of Plymouth and how pretty it is. I believe that a great picture of Plymouth has to have the sea in it as it is what makes Plymouth, Plymouth!”
Isaac’s photo will be used as a virtual background at Council cabinet meetings and he received a hamper from Choccacino.
Put it Down! Please vote for us in the Nesta People's Choice Award
You may remember that our Digital Leader team got through to the finals of the Longitudinal Explorer prize back in April and since then team members George Cleeland-Smith, Noah Evans, Edward Moor, Ben Wotton and Lawrie Mathers, have worked remotely throughout lockdown with experts and mentors to develop their app idea.
Put It Down! is designed to help everyone make better informed choices about the food that they consume. So many people nowadays think it’s cool to ‘save the environment’ and ‘eat well’ but small writing and confusing terms on product packaging is very often misleading.
The easy to use app will give easy to understand info about food production, how healthy it is, and whether the company that produced it is a ‘green’ and eco-friendly company.
The team is up against 38 other teams from across the whole of the UK that have been creating and developing technological solutions to some of the greatest challenges we face, from climate change and pollution to health and wellbeing. The main competition involved the team creating a business plan and presentation around the app which will be judged in July.
We had news from NESTA this week that they are running a new award as part of the competition this year called The People's Choice Award which gives the public the opportunity to vote for their favourite idea and we need your help to win the school £5000!
Please use this link to vote for our team. A reminder that their app in development is called Put it Down!
Our examples of Excellent Work this week are from the Geography Department.
Miss Randles told me that Year 8 Geographers have been completing a unit of work on Africa during Lockdown. The answers below are from two Year 8 students who completed excellent answers on the water crisis in South Africa.
I am also sharing some examples of work submitted by Mrs Lyons who was at DHSB this year on a placement with her PGCE Secondary Geography programme.
As part of her research assignment and in order to gather student perceptions of geography, she asked the students in her geography classes to complete a poster with this title.
Create a poster to explain what geography is to someone who has never studied it before
Mrs Lyons has chosen the following posters to share as the students concerned have put a great deal of time, effort, thought and artistic flair into their work, and they have explained what Geography is about.
Rocky Travers 7W
Ayush Kunwar 9S
Sonny Perry 9E
It’s been really good to hear about school activities continuing while students are at home.
Dr Colvile sent me a screenshot of a recent virtual Physics Society mtg.
He said, “James Hills 11N presented an excellent seminar to our Physics Society. It's super to see our Year 11 students making the most of the time they have to look back over what they've learnt in their GCSE years and doing some background reading to extend it. In his presentation, James also featured a question he had found on the Isaac Physics website which many of our students already have accounts on, where they can select a range of problems from GCSE level up to A level and beyond”.
Activities for this week's PSHEE lesson are the same for each year group, albeit with slightly different resources and expectations.
Classes should all have submitted their entries for the SPaG challenge from 5 June, following their tutor meetings this week, and Mrs Edwards and I are looking forward to reading them and picking overall year
The lesson for today is about First Aid, using resources from the Red Cross and also the British Heart Foundation. With support from Vinnie Jones students will be reminded how to carry out the basics of CPR, and the Red Cross have provided a total of seventeen different skills and scenarios that can be practised.
We suggest a minimum of three, but the more the better - you never know when it could turn out to be life saving information.
Good luck and stay safe!
We are currently looking for a Teacher of English to join us in January 2021 or earlier. There is some flexibility in the department and applications for either a part time or full time position are invited.
This week I wanted to bring to your attention some of the inbuilt features of Google Chrome (web browser) that are beneficial to you and our students at home. Chromebooks are our choice of learning tool and there are many fantastic reasons that these devices are perfect for learning, but the whole school google experience is available by signing into Google Chrome on any device and this will enable you to take advantage of the following inbuilt features (source)
Chrome allows you to bookmark a web page or website and add it to a list so you do not have to type the web address in time after time. This can be useful for children to avoid mistyping a web address and ending up on a different site to the one they were trying to get to.
To bookmark a site, first visit the site in Chrome. Click on the star icon to create a bookmark. Bookmarks can be organised into folders for different types of sites (e.g. ‘Shopping’ or ‘Games’) or saved to the Bookmarks Toolbar; a bar shown across the top of the browser window.
Chrome will automatically display a warning message if you try to visit a site that is suspected to contain malware or phishing. This feature will alert you to sites that may be dangerous to your device, but not to sites that may contain inappropriate or illegal content.
Remind your child that they should never share personal information on sites/services with people they do not know, and this includes usernames and passwords. If a site requests their personal information and they are not sure if it is okay to enter it, encourage them to check with an adult first.
Chrome keeps a log of web pages visited, showing the time and date that the page was viewed. To access the History, click on the Menu button then 'History' (or alternatively press Ctrl + H). Individual entries or the whole History can be cleared by using the onscreen options.
Incognito Mode can also be used to browse without creating a log of sites visited or files downloaded. This mode is shown by an icon in the top left corner of the screen.
These methods can be used to erase/hide the record of activities online in the browser. It is important to remind children that, although they can erase their browsing history, these methods do not make a user anonymous on sites and services they log into, and that any content uploaded (such as photos, videos and messages) is treated in exactly the same way as it is in non-private browsing.
Extensions are downloadable tools that add extra features to Chrome. Always read carefully which permissions an extension may ask for before installing it, as some may seek access to data and details entered on sites and services in that browser.
Encourage your children to ask you for permission before installing extensions and if you are not happy with the permissions it requests, then it is best not to install it.
Extensions are available on the Chrome Web Store.
Pop Ups and Adverts
By default Chrome will block pop up windows; new windows (often containing adverts) that may appear when accessing some websites. There are also freely available extensions (downloadable tools that add extra features to Chrome) that can block adverts displayed on web pages. Some extensions also provide filtering and parental controls.
Becoming familiar with these tools is important to controlling the amount of adverts seen in the browser, but talking to your children about the content they view online is equally important.
Encouraging children to be critical of content and not to view everything as trustworthy can help them distinguish between fact, opinion and advertising. Remind them that if they ever see anything online that worries them or makes them uncomfortable then they should always tell an adult.
Chrome allows for separate user accounts to be created, each with their own set of bookmarks and extensions. ‘Supervised user’ accounts can be created and managed to allow or prohibit access to certain websites, and create a log of browsing activity. A desktop icon can also be created for each user to provide easy access to their own Chrome settings.
To create additional user accounts, click on the Menu button then 'Settings' and click ‘Add new user…’ under the ‘Users’ heading.
Google Safe Search
This is enabled by default for supervised users and will filter Google search results.
Restricting and filtering sites/services is a useful step as is having discussions with your child about what they do online and what to do if they ever see anything that worries/upsets them.
Strategies could be as simple as turning off the screen, closing the laptop lid or walking away from the device then telling an adult.
More information on supervised users can be found on the Chrome help pages.