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22 May 2020

I hope all our families are keeping well and safe.

Thank you for all your support over the last few weeks.

A reminder that the school will not be setting any work for students during half term (this is in agreement with all schools in Plymouth) and we recommend that students take a break from their school work. Parents and carers will receive an important update from me at the end of school today (Friday).

New School Website

Since the early part of this year we have been designing and building a new school website to update the current one so that it is a better user experience for those accessing it particularly via mobile devices.

The new website has been ready for a while now but we have been waiting for the right window to switch it over as we didn’t want to cause any inconvenience to you.

We now have a window of opportunity over half term and we plan to switch this over beginning on Tuesday, so please be aware that the website may be down for a period of time, perhaps twenty four hours. If you have any concerns during this time then please email

Here are two screenshots of our new site

Excellent Work

Mr Tombs has shared some examples of Excellent Work from his Year 8 Classical Civilisation classes; this is what he explained to me.

This work comes at the end of our topic on Roman Britain and we look at how, after Boudicca's Revolt, the Romans pursued a policy of Romanisation, persuading the British to live in Roman towns and adopt a Roman lifestyle. Students are presented with a series of objects from this period. They are asked to make a marketing slide using concepts learnt in Business and Enterprise including the target market, brand and addressing needs and wants.

This year, I selected eight of these slides for both of the groups I teach, 8N and 8W, and asked the classes to vote for a winning slide. The form tutor and Business And Enterprise teacher for each group has a vote as well.

Thank you to Business And Enterprise teachers and form tutors for their support, and thank you to all students who voted.

These are the winning slides from Orlan in 8N and Lucas and Talha in 8W who tied for first place.

Orlan 8N

Lucas 8W

Talha 8W

PSHEE Activities

I have asked Ms Moreton to share the weekly PSHEE student activities in the Head’s Blog each Friday to give families an opportunity to discuss the topics together.

Year 7, 8 and 9 students are all looking at Study Skills. Although the normal school exams will not be held this year, it is still important to learn different ways of revising and try out various study methods. This lesson aims to get students to try something new such as a mind map or inventing an acronym or drawing a poster, whilst looking back at some of the lesson content prior to lockdown.

Year 10 students have a second week to complete the STEPs workbooks which look at employability skills and making choices for the future.

Year 11 students also have a second week, this time to complete or continue with the ETONX self study course on Resilience, which is certificated for all who complete it!

Ms Moreton also added this message for all students, “Enjoy half term with a break from school work. We will be back with a new format for our usual SPAG challenge on 5 June”.

eSafety Advice

Over the last four years there has been a significant increase in both smartphone and tablet ownership, with ownership among 8-12 year olds increasing most (by over 50%) - source

So what are they using their phones for?

72% of teens use YouTube daily - for those of you who don't know YouTube is the most popular video sharing platform and the second largest search engine behind Google Search. Billions of videos have been uploaded and shared on the platform since it was founded in 2005, ranging from Hollywood movie trailers and music videos, to amateur vlogs (video blogs).  

There are two types of user; creators (people that create channels and upload their own content) and viewers (people who watch videos, interact with videos and subscribe to channels) and YouTube itself fills two distinct rolls for the viewer;  either to discover new and interesting information or as a distraction to fill time and relieve boredom.  This is a great example of how these platforms can play both positive and negative roles in our lives.  I recently changed my spark plugs and coils by watching a YouTube video,  you can learn the guitar, in fact YouTube has an instructional video for any niche hobby you may want to discover.  However, how do we know the video is correct?  Just because it's on YouTube, it doesn't make the creator an expert - content can be displayed by anyone over the age of 13.  YouTube can't possibly police this and so it is important to encourage children to practice good judgement when consuming content. 

We also need to remember that YouTube is an advertising platform, just as your favorite show is being produced as a means to deliver ads to you. Even if you don’t stick around to watch the ad clip as you can skip after a few seconds, the main video you’re watching could contain methods like product placement, or an advertising link that pops up during the video, it is owned by google after all and ultimately the platform does have challenging and sometimes disturbing content - so here is a few tips and links for staying safe:

YouTube has a restricted mode - instructions on how to use

YouTube has community guidelines which explain whats allowed and not allowed - read them here

If you are concerned there are a range of helpful safety features:

Flag content: report content that breaks the community guidelines (watch video)

Restricted mode: restrict access to age-inappropriate content 

Video privacy settings: you can make videos public, unlisted or private

Blocking: prevent someone from commenting on your videos or sending you messages

Comment moderation: stay in control of who can post comments on your videos

File a privacy complaint: you can request the removal of videos that include your image, full name or personal information

In order to create a YouTube account, you must be at least 13 years old.

It is possible to watch videos without registering an account, but you would not be able to post your own videos.

Ms Buckler


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