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26 June 2020

This week I am pleased to share with you our second virtual whole school assembly which features student success and music, and includes examples of what students have been learning at home in their spare time during lockdown.

I hope you enjoy watching the assembly which includes a celebration of the SPaG competition award winners (spelling, punctuation and grammar). We are sorry that Harry Bentley-Bonsey is named as the Year 8 winner instead of his brother Tommy who wrote his year group's winning entry.

Well done Tommy and congratulations to all the students who took part.

You can read the winning entry from each year group in this Head's Blog.

SPaG Challenge

As you may remember, for the last few years we have held a SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) challenge in the PSHEE lesson straight after the summer half term, so we wanted to try to continue this tradition writes Ms Moreton. Obviously this couldn’t be exactly the same but we hoped it would still be fun to do and encourage some inter-house competition.

The challenge was to choose at least four of the six words provided for the relevant year group, and put them into a (very) short story or poem or limerick, spelled properly and grammatically correct. This could not be over 100 words.

These literary masterpieces were emailed to form tutors, and at their weekly class Google Meet the class decided which one to put forward to the main competition, to be judged by Ms Moreton and Mrs Edwards, who chose the overall winner from each year group.

All entries, class winners and year group winners will receive commendations and a virtual certificate, and the year group winners will also receive a £10 gift voucher. The winning entries for Years 7 - 11 are published here.

Year 7

Whilst I was pensively eating my banana, sitting on my garden bench, I glimpsed a majestic object fly over my head.

‘What was that? Was it imaginary, or real?’.

I sprang to my feet, and rushed to my bedroom, on the top floor of my house. I grappled to open the unoiled window, and then gazed out. At first, all I could see was the cerulean sky. Then I spotted it. At first, I thought it could be an electric drone. Then I heard the roar of a petrol engine, and realised at once. It was a Hermes Delivery Sleigh!

Noah Reid 7S

Year 8

Doctor Thompson nervously fingered his stethoscope, while sitting in the waiting room in the Police Department. If there was a place where time stood still, it would be there. But he didn’t mind. He was doing everything he could to procrastinate entering the interrogation room. It looked completely empty except for the one-way glass that was opaque on his side. He was a suspect of a crime. Whoever was guilty of it was a scoundrel. This entire ordeal had terrified him; his life had been so vanilla up until this point. “Doctor Thompson to the interrogation room.” This was it.

Tommy Bentley-Bonsey 8N

Year 9

The year was 1942, midway through the Second World War. A young woman sat at the small counter in the delicatessen. If she was correct, this is where the coded telegraph said they should meet. In the street, a man sat blowing a harmonica and accepting the donations of the people who passed. Then, the man she had been waiting for entered. A tall man in a dark suit. He sat at the table and slipped her a key with a tag that simply read ‘Vault’. She thanked him, her voice tremulous. Now she had a reason to be scared.

Billy Carlton 9N

Year 10

You would never believe how somebody so docile in their mannerism could commit such a heinous crime. The Egyptian artefact had been in the museum for at least 50 years protected by a clear alarmed case. All ready for the world to see, the Egyptian cauldron was historically invaluable and had been used to feed the village hundreds of years ago. Then along comes Tom, Tom who was mild mannered, quiet and studious but who knew he was hiding a secret? A secret that he was actually a master criminal ready to steal the artefact!

Ben Wonnacott 10P

Year 11

“Wow… I can’t believe this restaurant serves dogs,” said Alice.

“Dog food or dog as food?” Bob asked.


“Really? I was joking but this is awful. I look after my dog and she reciprocates.”

The waiter arrives, “Can I take your order?”

“Yes. The chihuahua and zucchini, please.”

“And you?”

“Just the zucchini, thankyou.”

The waiter leaves. Bob feels really uncomfortable, “Are you really okay with eating dogs? Dogs are man’s best friend; not best food!”

“This is clearly a platitude. I vacillate in my stance on dogs: I find their uses multifarious?”

“Why speak so archaically?”

“Word quota.”

Jack Mathews 11C

Jack has the added distinction of his entry being exactly 100 words!

Reminder to Vote for Put it Down!

As you may have seen in the Head's Blog last week and in the whole school assembly on Wednesday, our Digital leaders are in the final of the @nestachallenges Longitude Explorer Prize.

Please vote for Put it Down! on the LongitudeExplorer website and we could win £5,000 for the school.

Excellent Work

Our examples of Excellent Work this week are from the English Department and from a variety of year groups.

Mrs Johnson said that Year 7 students have spent a half term studying the conventions of magazines and have worked in small groups to create their own magazines targeted at Year 6 students who will be starting at DHSB in September. Each group member was responsible for writing at least one article and then they had to work together to create a house style and colour scheme for their magazine. The closure of schools presented a new challenge for this year as the students had to work collaboratively remotely to get their magazines finished, but as you can see, they managed this successfully.

Here are four particularly outstanding magazines. We hope that the students who will be starting with us in September find these useful and reassuring, and we look forward to meeting you.

DHSB Daily - written by Bailey Fry, Sunny Fisher, Ethan Smith and Harry Mcglinchey

DHSB Today - written by Fred Brown, Alex Hilton and Josh Ley

We Are DHSB - written by Fabian Manea, Leonardo Avanzato and Coby Emond

Discover Devonport - written by Matthew Bueno, Mazim Alsofyani, Tom Jane and Dylan Cook

Mrs Waterfield has sent me an example from her Year 9 group. They were asked to write an essay on how Snowball was represented throughout Animal Farm and she says that Rudi Gibbs produced a fantastic essay which is sophisticated and analytical. He explores complex ideas and consistently talks about Orwell’s intentions. A really impressive response. Well done Rudi.

Snowball Essay written by Rudi Gibbs

Mrs Sheridan has shared some lovely work by Lydia Baggaley.

Following some work on exploring the effects of sound in poetry, Mrs Sheridan gave the Year 12 English Literature students the chance to write a poem, with Lockdown as a suggested title. She says it was fascinating to find how much variety there was in their writing.

Mrs Sheridan added, “Although the use of sounds is quite subtle, Lydia's use of rhyme and alliteration give the language a shape and creates contrasts that help define each image”.


I want to clean my windows.

They are one big smudged rainbow

Of dirt, and I want to see clearly again.

I want my thoughts to be washed away with rain.

I want that pristine reflection,

Free from all my questions,

Sharp as a knife, or a kingfisher wing,

Like shadowless light, or the gleam on a ring.

Lydia Baggaley

PSHEE Activities

The Year 7 lesson this week is all about Multiculturalism. Starting to explore the concept of Multiculturalism, and consider how different customs, foods, languages, dress and music have been absorbed into British Society over hundreds of years. Think about what it means to be “British”, and what we mean by "culture".

The Year 8 lesson explores sexism and attitudes to gender both in and out of school.

The Year 9 lesson covers sex and social media, including the early sexualisation of children and young people (parents were sent a letter in advance about this content).

The Year 10 lesson is an introduction to the UCAS site by Jenny Wall, our Careers Advisor, and a short quiz to encourage familiarisation with the site.

Finally our Year 11 students are encouraged to access some of the speakers available in the LearnLounge area of the Springpod site. ( Students can select areas or speakers of interest and either listen to live broadcasts or catch up with recordings later. This is the closest we can currently get to ‘employer encounters’ and although not ideal can be an invaluable way to discover more about careers or areas of interest for the future.

Although this is technically the last day of school for Year 11 there will be one more lesson on Friday 3 July on the importance of sleep, and strategies to improve sleep and relaxation.

eSafety Advice

With the majority of social media channels enabling Livestreaming, it is becoming incredibly popular and now we have students who aspire to be content creators and vloggers and its not surprising - in 2019 youtuber PewDiePie made $12 million for essentially posted videos of him playing games and has over 100 million followers.

Creating videos online has never been easier and here is a quick guide to what you should know - source

What types of videos are young people creating online?

What is Live Streaming?

Live streaming or ‘Going live’ is the broadcasting of live video on the internet from a specific location in real-time, like live TV. It differs from video chat services like Skype, as videos can be watched by many more people.  All you need to live stream is access to the internet and a camera.

What is vlogging?

Vlogging involves publishing pre-recorded videos on social networks like YouTube on a regular basis. Both brands and individuals or ‘Vloggers’ do this.

What is a Let’s Play video?

Let’s Play videos are videos showing a screen recording of someone playing a game while providing a voice-over commentary. These have become very popular with YouTubers and gaming brands have started to tailor content specifically for this type of YouTube gaming video.

How to keep kids safe while creating and watch videos online

1. Stay engaged with what they do online

Have regular conversations about the potential risks i.e. sharing something they may regret

Encourage them to be critical about what they watch and how they share online and with who.

Give them the confidence to say no if asked to do something that makes them feel uncomfortable

Talk about how to deal with peer pressure and how easy it is to do something they think will impress others

2. Use tools to help them manage what they see and share

Together review privacy settings across all the social networks they use so they stay in control of who can see their videos

Use parental controls to ensure they see age-appropriate content

3. Make them aware of reporting functions available to flag people or content

Ensure they know where and how to seek support if something goes wrong

4. Encourage them to ‘Go live’ or record in public places to limit the personal information they share

Younger children should be supervised to ensure that you can intervene if needed

It’s important to be aware of who is potentially watching to limit the risks of sharing with wrong people

5. If they are watching live streaming or vlogs…

For younger children, it’s best to watch together to see if it is suitable

For older kids encourage them to evaluate what they watch to make sure it is having a positive impact on their lives

Pride Awareness

Ms Weaver has asked me to share these pride awareness posters.

With local pride events unable to happen this summer there is helpful advice and support from the online mental wellbeing community at Kooth.


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