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22 March 2019

The theme explored by staff and students in school over the last few days is ‘Making Choices’.

I have shared Mr Berryman’s whole school assembly presentation to give an opportunity for you to discuss this at home as a family with your child.

James and Jack Henniker, former students, were in school to support the assembly message and their presentation is also copied here.

190322 Jack and James

Community and Collaboration

In the Head’s Blog this week there is also a focus on community and collaboration and I’m pleased to let you know about many excellent projects and events which have happened  both here at DHSB and further afield.

South West Academic Trust

The SW Academic Trust (SWAT) is a partnership of leading grammar schools in the area and the University of Exeter. The vision of the trust is to work together to raise achievement and aspiration within our schools and across the region.

Each school also seeks to continue and extend existing partnerships with community schools, sharing and embedding good practice and innovation in order to contribute to raising standards and achievement.

Last Friday a group of students took part in the annual SWAT Challenge, led by Ms Welton.

Logan Rossiter summarises the day, “The speakers this year really complemented our research, with presentations on sustainability and building houses for the modern world. The quality of presentations from competitors this year was high, which didn’t help relax us as we waited to present. During our presentations, we could see the judges talking as we announced our politically contentious policies, considerably more than any other group. We were relieved after the panel decided not to grill us on our liberal economic policy that we had anticipated questions on. After, one of the judges, Mr Neil Parish MP, came to our table proclaiming jovially that while he objected to the presentation’s politics, we had argued well, from that point, in our eyes, we had won”.

Tom Hyndman added, “The day was very interesting and enjoyable, being able to see other people’s views and opinions on the housing crisis. Also, we were able to talk to one of the local MPs, Mr Parish, who was able to give an insight into the current political situation”.

190322 SWAT

The McWhirter Foundation Conference 2019

Year 12 students, Somsubhro Bagchi and Zara Waddy attended this year’s McWhirter Conference at Trinity College, Oxford and Zara has written this report of their experience.

“The conference focused on the controversial topic of ‘Who should set the limits of free speech’. The boundaries of free speech, no platforming, speech inciting violence and censorship were some of the areas explored, along with many other thought-provoking topics. The speakers included Tom Harwood (journalist and leader of the youth vote leave campaign), Peter Tatchell (LGBTQ+ and human rights activist), Dr Robert Simpson (political, science and philosophy professor) and Dr Adrian Hilton (political theologian and advisor to Michael Gove). The conference created an atmosphere that encouraged challenging opinions and stimulating debate. We are very grateful to Trinity College for hosting us in such a beautiful setting and the McWhirter Foundation for making this event possible”.


Staff Professional Development

On Monday after school the whole teaching staff came together for a professional development twilight session. The theme was in line with our development priorities based around developing teaching and learning through creativity. Every member of staff as part of their own development has been working on creativity in the classroom.

This two hour session was a chance for colleagues to share ideas and present back on their progress so far.

Staff were then given time to share good practice and what hasn’t worked for them. This was a great collaborative way to share ideas on teaching and learning but also allow teachers to try new things in a low stake situation. The key focus is on engaging our students to learn in a more creative way and allowing teachers the freedom to try new things without any constraints. It was extremely positive to hear all the fantastic things happening across the school.

Schools Partnership Programme

Since September we have been committed to the Schools Partnership Programme with the Education Development Trust. We are involved in a cluster-based school improvement model based on rigorous and impact-focused peer review. As part of this programme we are working with school leaders to drive their own improvement, through a continuous cycle of self-review, peer review and school-to-school support and improvement.

Recently we were visited by senior leaders from Devon and Cornwall. Leaders from the UTC, Hele’s School and Pool Academy in Cornwall spent a day at DHSB with the focus of the review on developing and improving the Arts at Key Stage 3. During the day they talked to students and experienced all aspects of school life. We have also visited our partner schools and it has been a really positive and helpful process.

Parent/Carer Surveys

Please be aware that over the next few weeks students are completing surveys to let us know what is going well at the school and how we can improve. We would appreciate it if parents and carers can also complete the survey as we value your feedback.

The relevant dates for each year group are copied at the end of the Head’s Blog today.

Young Enterprise

Last weekend our Young Enterprise company, Venture, took up their post in the Drake Circus Shopping Centre where they saw a good trade in their new products.

To see how the team progresses please follow them on Twitter at @ye_venture19

190322 Young Enterprise

Charity News

Mr Huq, Head of House, said, “I am very proud and pleased to announce that the Campbell Charity Week raised £354 for Comic Relief. Thank you to all the captains for coordinating the week and thanks to all students, staff and parents who helped out and contributed in some way”.

190322 Comic Relief

Excellent Work

Our example of Excellent Work this week has been submitted by Sixth Form student Lorenzo Stacey who explained that A level History students recently returned from a harrowing trip to Auschwitz. They joined a group of students from other schools and colleges to take part in Holocaust Educational Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz project which aims to increase knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust and its relevance for young people today.

I have copied the first paragraph of Lorenzo’s article here and his full report can be seen at this link.

With over 70 years having passed since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, we must not forget those who were persecuted during the Holocaust nor the events that took place. The ‘Lessons for Auschwitz’ project began with an opening orientation seminar on the 4 February 2019. In this orientation seminar we had a very rare opportunity to hear a testimony from Hannah Lewis, an 80 year old Holocaust survivor, who was born on the 1st June 1937 in Włodawa, Poland. Her testimony was truly emotional and gave us a mere glimpse as to the horrors that she witnessed through the eyes of a young child.

DHSB Reading Club

Starting next week the Learning Commons will be open during every Tuesday break two only for student and staff choosing to come in and read. This is to support the great work that is being done in English with the Carnegie shadowing team.

You are free to bring your own book or borrow one of ours. We have just taken receipt of the Carnegie long list and there may be biscuits.

190322 Reading

Sports Update


Well done to Callum Lyons who travelled to the British Schools Judo Championships in Sheffield at the English Institute for Sport last weekend.

Callum was competing for DHSB in the Year 10, under 81kg weight group. His fights were scheduled on the Saturday, during this two day event.

Callum arrived at the venue at 9.30am on the Saturday morning for the weigh-in at 10.00am. He then had a very long wait for his first fight at 17.30. It was really hard for him to keep motivated but he supported the other competitors from his club (Drake Judo Club) by helping them to warm up and cheering them on during their fights. When at last 17.30 arrived Callum narrowly lost his first bout – as it turned out, to the eventual Gold medalist. He was put into the repechage and came through two really tough contests to take his Bronze medal.

190322 Judo - Copy.jpeg


Well done to the U13 Hockey team pictured here ready to compete at the regional finals hosted at Millfield School. The team played well and put in a very good effort says Mr Carpenter, but unfortunately they faced very strong opposition and didn’t reach the later stages of the competition.

190322 Hockey


It was great to see six more Year 7 students make their debut at this week’s central venue competition. Well done Year 7!

190322 Year 7 Football

Well done also to the U14 team who progress to the final of the Plymouth Cup after a good win at home to All Saints.

Congratulations to the U15s team who has also reached the Plymouth Schools cup final with a 2 – 1 win over Eggbuckland.

190322 U15 Football

There were good matches all round this week as DHSB A won 2 – 1 in the Devon Wednesday League.


Congratulations to the U16 rugby team who yesterday beat Plymstock School 38 – 0.

190322 Rugby

Future Events

Friday 22 March

Year 10 student and parent/carer survey

Friday 29 March

Year 11 student and parent/carer survey

Monday 1 April

PTFA Easter Raffle

Friday 5 April

Year 8 student and parent/carer survey

Friday 5 April

Final day of spring term two

Monday 22 April

Easter Monday (bank holiday)

Tuesday 23 April

First day of summer term one (B week)

Wednesday 24 April

eSafety talk for parents and carers (sign-up details available soon)


And finally

DHSB band The Native is very excited to announce that tickets for their biggest headline show to date are now on sale at this link. Please support the band if you can.

190322 The Native


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