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23 September 2022

As we start the new school year we are inviting families and students to contribute to the Head’s Blog.

If your family or child has tried a new activity or challenge during the summer then we'd love to hear about it. We also want to hear about student achievements - please complete the form at the link below to let us know what you’ve been doing.

Examples of activities could include new sports, photography, new hobbies or book recommendations.

Student News and Achievements

Jacob Blackler-Rose 10C experienced some very tough training in La Manga in Spain with his Exeter University coach at the beginning of the summer holidays, training in near 40 degree heat.

Jacob later went on to play at Wimbledon in the “Play your way to Wimbledon” tournament, having won his club tournament and the county tournament. He reached the finals in this tournament and was presented with a trophy by Tim Henman.

He then competed at the national tournament held at Nottingham Tennis Centre and won matches in his box which led him into the top 16.

And lastly he played in the Devon County Championships winning the boys 16s, boys 14s doubles and the 18s mixed doubles.

Well done Jacob - a very busy summer!

Well done also to Lennon Way 9W who plays cricket for Cornwood CC and won’ most improved in his age group’ for a combination of his left arm wrist spin and aggressive batting.

Congratulations to Thomas Robbins 11P who raised £345 for SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) by completing the Dartmoor All Tors Challenge in just six days. His time of six days, nine hours and 10 minutes means he is the youngest and fastest person to complete the trek.

In total, 119 tors make up the All the Tors Challenge, stretching roughly 300km.

Thomas said: "We owe a debt of gratitude to our Armed Forces. SSAFA is a great charity and we can all support them to help our servicemen/ex-serviceman who have sacrificed so much for all of us."

Well done Thomas.

Caleb Caleshu 10P competed at the British U14 championships which took place in Torquay in August.

Caleb did tremendously well to take the second place (30 competed) with 5.5/7 and to put this in perspective, this is the best performance by any player from the city in a national championship for over 35 years.

Congratulations Caleb.

Armed Forces Breakfast

This morning we held our first armed forces family breakfast for students this school year and we were pleased to welcome many of the Year 7 students who have a parent in the services.

The breakfasts are informal and provide an opportunity for Mr Mitchell and Ms Taylor to talk to the students, welcome any newcomers and ask if anyone has a parent who is away at the moment. Today we had a quiz which encouraged students to talk and get to know others in different year groups.

This is a light touch approach and is offered over and above the pastoral support provided by the school to all our students.

Many thanks to Ms Taylor and Mr Mitchell for arranging and leading the sessions.

Holiday Club

The DHSB October half term holiday club is now open for bookings.

Mr Campbell says there are lots of amazing sessions for the whole week and all children aged from 8 - 12 years old are welcome to attend.

The cost is £20 a day or £75 for five days. Please use the link below for more information.

Alumni News

We have recently heard that former student Alexander James Wilson was named the best cadet of the intake at the Sovereign’s Parade at Sandhurst in August.

Alexander received The Sword of Honour and was considered by the Commandant to be the Best Cadet in the Army Commissioning Course 213; he is to commission into The Rifles.

The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in Surrey is where all officers in the British Army are trained to take on the responsibilities of leading the soldiers under their command. The Commissioning Course for Regular Army officers is 44 weeks long and covers military, practical and academic subjects.

Alex left DHSB in 2015.

In addition, former student Ben Rollinson also passed out on the same day.

Ms Davidson said, “Ben had wanted to join the forces since he was 16 and despite being rejected on two applications he went on and got his engineering degree before completing a year in industry and then applied again, with this amazing outcome”.

Ben left DHSB in 2015 and is pictured here with his sister who studied with us as a TLP student.

Yesterday, Mrs Kinsella was delighted to welcome two alumni, Roger Burrows and Tom Orchard. They hadn't seen each other for about 55 years but the years melted away and they spent a lovely afternoon touring the school and catching up.

Mrs Kinsella said, “Lovely to see you both today and safe journey back Roger”.

Roger, who now lives in Canada, is pictured pointing himself out in a photo displayed in school!

Also this week, Mrs Kinsella received a DHSB evacuee's first hand account of his time spent in Penzance.

The school was evacuated to Penzance in 1941 for the duration of the war. Tony Cross joined the school there in 1942 when he passed the scholarship. This account was written when his letters home to his mother were discovered in her loft in 2001 after her passing. Sadly Tony passed away himself before it was completely finished but his brother Barrington Cross (one of two other brothers who both attended DHSB) proofread and tidied it up to produce this amazing account.

My thanks to Barrie for sharing this with us. It's quite long so grab a cuppa and make yourself comfortable.

PSHEE Activities

This week's assemblies on Wednesday were led by the Heads of Year, on the theme of excellence, and in lessons today, we aimed to continue the development of both knowledge and skills in a variety of areas.

The Year 7 lesson was on a theme of alcohol and drugs, with a focus on developing resilience and thinking about occasions and methods for resisting peer pressures when appropriate.

Year 8 students listened to three speakers who all talked about their careers in and around the sport sector. We had two speakers from Plymouth Argyle working in some of the many support areas around a successful football club, and also a sports photographer. Students also had access to recorded interviews with a sports teacher trainer from Marjons, and a physiotherapist.

These talks are the start of several over this term for Year 8, in preparation for their choosing of GCSE options just after Christmas.

Year 9's lesson was on the topic of crime and punishment. Students looked at statistics and considered ways of reducing crime especially for teenage boys, as well as considering just and fair punishments for different crimes.

Year 10 students are beginning two years of preparation for their GCSE exams, so had their lesson on the subject of organisation and study skills.

Finally a group of Year 11 students attended the Launchpad Live exhibition at Plymouth Argyle this morning, and will feed back their findings to their classes next week. The rest of the year group, along with other students, were encouraged to attend the open times for the exhibition on Thursday after school.

Year 11 students in school began an introduction to our new platform Unifrog, (more details as mentioned in the Head’s Blog last week) which they will complete next week.

Ms Moreton

Sixth Form Enrichment and Tutorial

We'd like to thank Tammy Walker from Age UK Plymouth for training Year 12 students to be Dementia friends this morning.

Tammy gave insights into the range of challenges posed by the various forms of dementia and strategies that we can now use to help and support those living with Dementia.

Students were able to contribute their ideas to this session and will receive badges to promote awareness in the community. Some students plan to become Dementia Ambassadors themselves as a result of this session.

During tutorial Year 12 students also explored strategies for success in Study Skills alongside a short animated film called 'All of our Shadows' produced by the All Of Us Campaign which is dedicated to improving youth mental health through the medium of film.

Year 13 students completed routine aspects of their UCAS applications and discussed individual post-18 plans .

Staff News

Ms Hitter, our Biology Technician, volunteered at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham during the summer break.

She said, “Last November I went to an interview to become a volunteer for the games this summer and I was very excited when I was accepted as a member of the Event Services Team at Edgebaston stadium for the T20 Cricket. Event Services means that we were the friendly face of the games as ‘meet and greet’ and be helpful to everybody. My personal highlights were playing with children, mums and dads at the 'Have a Go' games, looking after the accessibility area and manning the info-stand".

She added, "I only can encourage everybody to volunteer in other events, it is so rewarding and you make memories for life”.

Sports Update

Mr Campbell said it was a “Great day of learning and growing as a young ambassador at the Plymouth School Sports Partnership Leadership Academy Conference on Wednesday.

There were some great workshops on offer and the students can’t wait to begin their new roles.


Central venue rugby started again this week and Mr Strang said the Year 8 team played two exciting games against St Boniface and Plympton Academy. A fun time in the sun.

The Year 7 team also made a very positive start at their central venue competition, winning both their games.

Pictured is the Year 8 team.


Mr Manley reports that the 1st XI started the year with an 8 - 5 victory against the Police team. Well done!


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