Here is my half termly 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.
Students achieve the highest academic standards
Continued focus on the needs of different groups to raise achievement, including the most able
We have recently created a new approach to our support for students and families here at DHSB. Where possible, we try to intervene to provide early support, either directly or through an external referral process, to prevent escalation of issues.
One of the new ways is that we have created an email contact. If you feel that either you or someone you know within the DHSB community could benefit from early help please email email@example.com with the details of your concern.
All the examples of our early help and support can be viewed on our new webpage and in this poster.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Family Support update
We have set up a new SEND webpage which includes a section on Events, Information and Opportunities which will be regularly updated.
We have added a facility for parents to register to receive a text message notification when any updates are made. This applies to the SEND and Family Support Advisor pages.
Click here to view the new SEND webpage. Please sign up to receive the text alerts.
A whole-school focus on literacy and oracy
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar Competition
Students from Years 7 – 10 are being challenged to prove their skills at all things SPAG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) as part of an inter-house competition. During class registrations in the morning, students have been given spelling, punctuation and grammar exercises to complete and mark, and the competition will culminate just before half term with a traditional ‘spelling bee’ for each year group.
12 students from Years 10 – 13 had the privilege of taking part in an internationally recognised Speechcraft course run by Toastmasters International.
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.
Overcome the barriers to transition from Key Stage 2 to 3
We have been listening to recent new parents and students who have started at DHSB and as a result have made some changes to our transition programme for prospective new students and parents.
The main difference in approach is that we have initiated contact and communication much earlier than previously; this allows more time to personalise the transition programme for individual students. For the last half term we have been carrying out transition meetings at local primary schools to begin the process.
Creative & Entrepreneurial Spirit
Continue to use the latest cutting edge technology creatively and innovatively
Mayflower 2020 – Connecting with Plymouth Massachusetts
It was fascinating to see our Sixth Form Politics classes talking with students from the Plymouth Public School in Massachusetts via a Google hangout recently. This connection was in preparation for the Mayflower 400 celebrations and subjects discussed ranged from the British monarchy, the EU referendum and the American presidential elections through to school culture and uniform.
Next steps for the partnership this academic year will be through a subject connection in English, followed by two other English based competitions in September.
The first is students’ participation in the Mayflower Anthology competition and also the Mayflower Laureate competition.
Diamond Anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
In other news this week I was invited to Buckingham Palace with Mr Huq to celebrate the Diamond Anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Three members of the Royal Family were in attendance, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Earl of Wessex and The Countess of Wessex, and our group was hosted by Ray Mears.
This was a wonderful experience and a lovely way to celebrate DHSB’s commitment to DofE and our increased number of students completing the award at all three levels.
Ray Mears is pictured presenting our certificate
Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award Photo Gallery
I’m pleased to share with you the photos of our bronze award winners at our first in-house presentation evening held last week.
Click on any student name to see the images from the presentation evening.
The Go4Set Challenge is another area in which our students excel. Thanks to Mrs Cole for sending me this information about the competition and well done to both teams.
DHSB entered two teams into this year’s Go4Set challenge. Student teams were partnered with mentors from local employers, Babcock and the National Marine Aquarium, to tackle a ten week Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) project.
The Go4Set challenge presents students with an engaging real world scenario, requiring them to extend and apply their understanding of STEM subjects within a particular context.
Whilst developing their projects, communication, team-working, time-management, presentation and report-writing skills are all honed.
The boys have demonstrated a tremendous amount of hard work and commitment, meeting twice weekly for the past two months. Their presentations were polished and professional, the models looked fantastic and their project reports are an impressive record of their ideas and the project’s development.
Two prizes were won, and (for the second year running) DHSB has a team through to the national finals.
Report from the A Team
Preet Pradeep, Jacek Schmidt, Jeremy Prichard, Joshua Dibb, Isaac Lee and Finn Coles
We were given ten weeks to complete a STEM project, a project which would entail Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. We chose the Eco-hotel project and thought, “Why not put the hotel underwater?”
We spent ten weeks designing and making an eco-friendly, underwater hotel. On Tuesday we went to Plymouth University to present our finished project to the judges. We competed against 15 other teams and we won two prizes. One was the Most Innovative Award and the other was the Big Bang Award which gives admission for us to compete at the national finals. We will be heading to Birmingham in March to compete against all the other Big Bang winners.
Report from the B Team
Joshua Moyse, Ben Adams, Hugo OhGraham, Lewis Robins, Thomas Hutchinson and Somsubhro Bagchi
We decided to regenerate Plymouth Pavilions because it was of extremely high relevance to our lives and would let us implement various STEM skills. We had to build a model, write a report and give a presentation on our chosen topic. We added new energy conservation and generation features such as a solar furnace and wind turbines. Our additions were purposeful and ergonomic such as a rooftop café and LED floor lighting in our event hall. We gained a lot of teamwork, communication, model making, report writing and engineering skills and had a lot of fun. If we had a similar chance at a project such as this, we would definitely take it because this project was very enjoyable and strengthened our friendships.
Devon Wednesday League
Firstly, congratulations to the 1st XI who finished fifth in the Devon Wednesday League premier table.
Staff and students enjoyed the end of season presentation night. Mr Manley said, “It was a fantastic evening topped off with a new kit for winning the Respect Campaign. Tom Lowe and Joe Adkins were also awarded the Sportsman Award.”
Mr Manley also picked up an award when he was named as the DWL Secretary’s Award winner.
Well done to the Year 8 Cricket team who beat Kingsbridge School by five wickets in the Devon Cup.