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26 November 2021

What a fantastic week at DHSB!

Having spent a great deal of time talking to students and spending time in their challenge week activities, it is evident that weeks like Curriculum Challenge Week provide our students and staff with a real opportunity to go beyond the normal curriculum in lessons.

We are proud of the deeper learning experiences that students have had this week and I hope you enjoy looking at some of the photos in today's Head's Blog.

Please also scroll through our Twitter hashtag #DHSBCCW as it's not possible to include every subject and all activities in our selection today.

Thanks to all staff who have shared their photos.

In other exciting news this week it has been a busy few weeks in the Learning Commons.

Please read this account from Ms Buckler about a special award.

TechSW Award Winners!

Last Wednesday, Ms Buckler travelled to Birmingham's EdTech Summit to present on our journey to a serverless school, as part of our role as a DfE EdTech Demonstrator School.

She said "It was really lovely to chat to fellow educators that were inspired by our different outlook on technology in the classroom and how we put reliable technology into the hands of all our students. This was quickly followed by a demonstration to fellow Google Educators in the first ever EMEA Google Reference School Summit. I shared how we use the Google Workspace to engage our transition students, encouraging them to take a series of digital challenges to improve their digital literacy skills even before they join us".

Ms Buckler added, "The week was topped off with an award ceremony with myself and Mr Berryman representing the school at the TechSW Awards, as nominees for Best Education Initiative. The event was held in the spectacular Market Hall in Devonport and celebrated the tech sector's innovation, talent, education leadership and diversity. Our award category recognised great initiatives in promoting and delivering tech education and it was an honour to win and to have the work that we do in delivering great outcomes to our community recognised by industry specialists within the tech sector".

Well done to the whole team.

Swimming Gala

Special mention must go to this week’s fabulous swimming gala.

Mr Campbell said, “Students at DHSB never cease to amaze us with their talents, and this week they did it again during our inaugural swimming gala at the Plymouth Life Centre. What a fantastic atmosphere and amazing event. Split into two afternoon sessions, Year 7 and 8 students kicked the event off with a lot of extremely competitive and close to call races. It was truly fantastic to watch and very inspiring! Our swimming gala concluded with Year 9 and 10 competitors taking part on Friday afternoon. It’s brilliant to see our students excelling in a sport we are not used to seeing them participate in at school. None of this would have been possible without the help of our Sixth Form volunteers so a huge thank you to them for their flawless timing skills and the encouragement they gave to each and every swimmer. All students taking part are record breakers and should feel proud that their swimming times are now part of the school's history - well done to all”.

Excellent Work

Here are some examples of work that has been completed during this year's Curriculum Challenge Week.

Please check our hashtag #DHSBCCW for more!

Year 7 History

Year 7 History

Year 8 French

Year 8 Spanish

Year 8 CAFOD Eyes of the World Campaign

Year 7 RS

Year 7 Victorian Christmas Cards

Year 7 Victorian Christmas Cards

Year 10 Data Portraits

Year 10 Data Portraits

Student News

Thank you to Mr Anderson and Mr Butland who took the school chess team to a competition at Torquay Boys Grammar School on Tuesday.

Mr Butland is associated with Devon County Chess and has recently taken up a volunteer coaching role with the school chess club.

He has written a report of the competition which can be read at this link.

Mr Anderson added “The team played terrifically and finished in second place, losing by a slim margin to an older Torquay side. The team has qualified for the SW Championships. Fantastic”.

Sixth Form Update

Thanks to Ms Davidson, Assistant Head Post-16, for this update on the Sixth Form.

In Curriculum Challenge Week, Year 12 and 13 students have been able to use this extra-curricular time to explore their next steps, consolidate their studies or invest in their CV portfolios. Their activities vary quite considerably and include virtual work experience, in-person work shadowing, driving lessons, health and safety training, MOOCs (massive open online courses), volunteering with a homeless charity, volunteering at vaccination centres, working on the Extended Project Qualification, personal fitness and wellbeing, mental health qualifications, political youth work and mock interviews as well as revision and review for the upcoming Jan mock exams. It has been a useful week for students to take stock and reflect as well as consider their next priorities.

It has been a very busy term so far and I am thrilled with the development of both Year 12 and 13 students into a stronger and more cohesive Sixth form community, writes Ms Davidson. The majority of our KS5 students have engaged superbly with their learning as well as opportunities for leadership. They have stepped up to become Prefects and Peer Mentors and more recently House Captains and very active Subject Ambassadors. Mr Widdecombe has certainly been impressed by the work of the three Biology Ambassadors who are inspiring a very committed group of younger students. The House Captains demonstrated fabulous skills in their acceptance presentations shared with the whole school. The ease with which these Year 12 students conveyed their commitment and enthusiasm alongside their individual personalities was admirable. It will be exciting to see their work unfold.

Alongside their academic curriculum, the Sixth Form work on ‘enrichment’ which incorporates a number of themes relating to the wider aspects of being a member of society, careers and also health and wellbeing.

Pictured here are images from the immensely successful Question Time event when the panel explored the challenging topics of racism and the threats to womens’ safety on the street. Not only had the chairperson steered an interesting flow of discussion and the panel prepared evidence based statements, questions and opinions, but the rest of the Sixth Form, ably enhanced by James and a roving microphone, contributed with maturity and sound proposition.

The whole experience was first class and truly a reminder of how fabulous, insightful and incredible teens can be!

Curriculum Challenge Week Photos

Year 7 Geography

Year 8 Spanish

Year 8 Arts

Year 8 Physics

Year 8 German

Year 8 Spanish

Year 8 Chemistry

Year 8 Biology

Year 9 Maths Challenge

Year 9 Employer Challenge

Year 9 Science

Year 10 Computer Science

Year 10 Geography

Year 10 Geography

Year 10 Theatre

Year 10 Sports

Ten Tors Training

Ten Tors Training

Updating the house notice boards

Sports Update


The Year 7 football team had a very close game on Thursday, losing 2 - 1 to Ivybridge Community College in the fourth round of the National Cup.

Mr Carpenter said, "Well done boys and best of luck in the next round to Ivybridge".

It was another great night of football when the Year 10 team played on Monday, reports Mr Manley who thanked UTC Plymouth and the Scott Medical & Healthcare College for coming over to DHSB.


Unfortunately the U15 rugby team went out of the National Vase at their match on Thursday against a very good side from Torquay Boys Grammar School.


Also this week, Mr Huq reports that DHSB Golf Club is going with a swing!


Plymouth Hockey Club

Rob White, Chairman of the Plymouth Hockey Club, has asked me to pass this message to families.

We are offering children the opportunity to train and play at Plymouth Junior Hockey Club on Sunday mornings.

The Club offers six weeks without charge, qualified coaches, a secure site, free parking and beverages for parents.

Training starts at 10.00am and all players that train with us can play competitively in a fun and positive environment. We are known as the friendliest club in Plymouth.

The club club is independently verified for its safeguarding procedures.

Please contact contact Mr White if you’d like to know more - 07861 250682 or


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