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26 May 2023

The Head’s Blog this week has plenty for you to read and enjoy over the half term break.

We are including updates from many of our regular contributors including House News, PSHEE Activities, the new STEAM Blog, eSafety Advice, Excellent Work, news from our PTFA, Student Achievements and a full Sports Round-up.

We’ve enjoyed the change of season and watching athletics and cricket fixtures this week.

Also, I would like to commend our Year 11 and Year 13 students for their excellent focus and attitude during their exams so far.

We wish them all the very best in their future plans.

House News

This week saw House Challenges taking place with Years 7 - 10 students competing to win house points.

Year 7 took part in Balloon Towers. They all had the same materials and the same amount of time, and had to think like engineers and create the tallest tower they could with only balloons and tape. The structures had to be free standing. Our House Captains were also on hand in each class to lend a hand and most importantly measure the structures. They worked in small teams and the tallest structure from each class was the form entry. The winners were 7C with a structure of 210 cm, narrowly beating 7S who managed 206 cm. It was lots of noise, but lots of fun.

Years 8 - 10 took part in a quiz with a twist. They had to enter as a form and each question had a numerical answer. they had no access to the internet and had to discuss and reason their way to agreeing on an answer as a class.

Examples of questions include:-

The oldest athletics record at DHSB is the U14 Shot. To date, it has not been broken. What distance is the record?

How many characters that have speaking parts in his plays did Shakespeare create?

Students were competing within their year groups with the closest to the correct answer getting 6 points, the furthest away 0 and everyone else 3 points. They could even potentially double their points in a round by playing their joker - if they were confident!

The winners were 8C, 9E and 10E…(and the answers are 14.08m and 1223).

Miss Cunningham

Excellent Work

Mr Newton has shared this video which shows 7S demonstrating the Steel Pans that all Year 7 students have been working with this term.

Well done 7S!

Student News

Well done to Nathan Richards 7E who was selected to represent England on the double mini trampoline at the Frivolten Cup in Sweden last weekend. This was Nathan’s first ever international competition; he reached the finals and was placed sixth overall.

Also congratulations to Harry Bedford-Smith 8P who represented the Navy whilst playing for his rugby team Devonport Services U13s at Twickenham earlier in May during the Army v Navy match day. The team played four games, won three and drew one, being the only team undefeated they were overall winners.

Harry also scored two tries on the Twickenham pitch, playing in front of over 53,000 people.

STEAM update

Ms Davarian writes, “This week's STEAM Blog entry is by George Cleeland-Smith 12SD who tells us more about the DHSB digital leader programme.

Digital Leaders - A whole school approach to digital skills

Ten years old this year, the Digital Leader team has morphed and adapted to the ever-changing environment both at school and with new advances in technology. Originally helping with IT support and Learning Commons management, Digital Leaders now do much more… Digital Leaders offer an amazing leadership pathway for our students and a seamless IT support service for our community and can only be successful due to the simplicity of our Google ecosystem. Not only are Digital Leaders an incredible resource for the school, saving time and allowing technical staff to concentrate on infrastructure issues, but the experience gained and skills developed by the students who take part, further benefits the students involved whether that be improving their CV’s or applying skills to their workplaces in the future.

So what are Digital Leaders? These are students who take on the role of the IT helpdesk staff and are able to have technical support tickets assigned to them... ...

eSafety Advice

As we go into the half term break, Ms Buckler would like to remind all parents and carers about our esafety page which has details of how to set up Securly for home, National Online Safety resources and links to reporting social media and how to set up parent controls for most devices.

Sixth Form Enrichment

More decision making workshops with Judy Kay today as well as individual careers interviews for some students in Year 12. We are working hard to encourage students to spend dedicated time on their next steps at this stage in their school career.

These workshops, along with presentations from Mr Burt and Miss Wilkinson in the last fortnight, with emphasis on the wealth of material on the Unifrog platform by tutors should certainly help narrow the criteria by which they make these important choices .

We were thrilled to hear once again from Andrew Wallis (Head of School and College Partnerships at Falmouth University) who always inspires us to think about connected careers in the creative industries.

This year's example?

A functional daffodil-picking robot chair designed by gaming students at Falmouth!

PSHEE Activities

This week it was Year 7's turn to look ahead to their school exams which will be during the week beginning 19 June. Their lesson involved going through their revision guides, completing revision timetables, and considering and discussing the best ways to revise - not necessarily the same for every subject, or even for every person!

Year 8 students had a careers speaker who is a former student of the school, and is now working as a Police Officer. He talked about his current role, but probably more importantly how he made the decisions to get to this point. The majority of Year 8 students will not have a clear idea of their future career path so it is important that they meet and talk to as many different employers and employees as possible over the next few years, to help them to clarify and consider options.

Year 9 students heard from myself and Mr Manley about the option for undertaking work experience during Curriculum Challenge Week next year (27/11-1/12/23). Any students who decide to take this choice will need to start looking for a placement as soon as possible. This is a link to the presentation they saw.

After half term we will be asking for a definite decision so that we have an idea of numbers.

And finally for this half term, the Year 10 lesson concerned Blood & Stem cell donation, using resources produced by the NHS to explain and also encourage donation for those eligible.

Enjoy half term everyone (although keep up the revision too) - more re tutorial lessons for the last half term of this year to come in June/July.

Ms Moreton


The PTFA have had another busy week. We had a very early 4.15am start to get the Alton Towers coaches on their way! 495 students and our volunteers on 11 coaches! There are no words to describe the atmosphere at the Milehouse Park & Ride at 4.45am - such anticipation and excitement! They had a great day and wee have received some brilliant feed back which is much appreciated; thank you.

On Wednesday it was lovely to meet more Year 6 parents at the second transition event. We even multi tasked by separating 700 disco wristbands! It's not too late to get a ticket but be quick to avoid disappointment.

Thank you to everyone involved in organising the Alton Towers trip and those who helped at the transition event. A special mention to Joanna and Melanie - matching friendship groups for allocating 11 coaches is a mammoth task and I take my hat off to them! Thank you to Mike too who ran the Alton Towers trip for many years and expertly guided us this time.

Our next event is the disco on 11 June 2023 as mentioned above.

Our final PTFA meeting is on Tuesday 4 July at 6.00pm in the Conference Room (directly behind the visitor reception). Refreshment are provided and we'd love to see you there!

Any questions please email

Mrs Kinsella

Sports Update


Many congratulations to the U15 football team who completed the season by winning the Plymouth Cup final against Eggbuckland School.

Mr Bunney said, “The Year 10 football team beat Eggbuckland in the Plymouth final this afternoon to wrap up a long but brilliant season. Plymouth and Devon Cup winners plus National Cup Quarter Finalists - an incredible achievement”.


Well done to students in the U12 cricket team who won their fixture in the Devon Cup by 69 runs.

Mr Campbell said, "Thank you to Okehampton for playing the game in the right spirit and to Chagford Cricket Club for hosting us”.

The U13 team had an ‘absolutely brilliant’ game of cricket in the Devon Cup this week. The team narrowly beat Plymstock by just ten runs in a really tight game.

The match was a great advert for school sport and school cricket - well done to both teams for playing their part.

It was a brilliant day out for DHSB in the U13 West Devon softball competition yesterday.

A third place finish for Year 8 and a solid seventh for our Year 7 team.

Well done to all who competed and thank you to Plymouth Cricket Club for hosting us.

Year 9 and 10 students also had a chance to play at the central venue competition yesterday.

Mr Manley said, “It was a fantastic evening of softball cricket for our Year 9 and 10 teams”.


Well done to all students who took part in Plymouth and West Devon Schools Athletics Championships at the Brickfields Arena on Wednesday.

Mr Carpenter said there were some good performances during the day and students are waiting to hear if they will progress to the next stages.


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