This week's theme is seizing opportunities.
Mr Coombes, Assistant Head, led our whole school assembly on Wednesday and we looked at some of the extra curricular opportunities available to students; on a daily basis, in the summer enrichment week and what may come up in the future.
Mr Coombes also shared a perspective of how our opportunities may be different to others.
Beauty and the Beast
Students are involved in all aspects of our musical theatre production of Beauty and the Beast which will be staged in the Edgcumbe Theatre from Wednesday to Friday next week.
This is a show not to be missed!
If you don't yet have your tickets then these can be purchased on our school website at this link. The show starts at 7:30pm and refreshments will be available in the foyer from 6:00pm.
In December a number of our students and Mr Manley featured on BBC Spotlight sharing information regarding our compassionate friends and our recent workshops with Plymouth University.
A Compassionate Friend is someone who looks out for others and makes a difference to those affected by death. At DHSB we want to be a compassionate community where everyone recognises that as individuals we all have a role in supporting each other, particularly during periods of crisis or loss.
We're extremely proud of our compassionate staff and students and continue to explore the different ways that we can support members of our community who have been affected by loss.
Visitors to DHSB
This week Mrs Brooking, Head of Languages, and Mrs Mintoft, Head of History, hosted two teachers and two students from Austria for a visit and tour of the school.
Well done to students in 8C who delivered a presentation in German about the history and general information about the school, then Ashton and Viktor took them on a tour of the school with Mrs Mintoft.
Our visitors Sabine and Elisabet were particularly interested in the IT provision for our students and the varied experiences between our school and those in Vienna where they are based.
Well done to Year 9 Chemistry students Oliver Tapp and Joshua Daniel who shared their presentations on giant covalent structures and properties.
Both students presented to the class their research on the properties of two giant structures; diamond and graphite. They also included simple structures such as water and oxygen.
Thanks to Mrs Hicks for sharing these images.
DHSB Physics Society
Thank you to former student James Hills who visited DHSB Physics Society on his way back up to Cambridge University for his second term of the Natural Sciences Tripos there.
James confessed that he was surprised by the subject of his seminar, as he had not expected to enjoy studying Materials Science.
His passion for mathematical physics, which he shared with a sizeable audience of Year 12 and Year 13 students, had clearly been ignited by his experience of learning that crystal structure is really all about the mathematical properties of wallpaper patterns, as can be seen in the photo.
Students have been looking at the concept of 'oversharing' on social media and the reasons behind this with the focus on the problems this can cause to those sharing, but also those on the receiving end of continuous contrived posts.
We looked at FOMO (fear of missing out), how it can encourage the need for validation or attention and also the impact on our mental health.
Students were asked to reflect on what responsibility they have to themselves when they use social media and considered the statement 'we define who we are'.
Adults are certainly not immune to these types of behaviours on social media; it can be easy to go down a rabbit hole that isn’t beneficial to our wellbeing. As platforms grapple with managing ‘legal but harmful’ content, lives are being impacted, sometimes to tragic effect. We might be daunted by the scale of the tech giants and their content which enthrals young people, but we can still help children to be mindful of their mental wellness: recognising when something isn’t OK … and knowing what to do about content that upsets them.
In the attached guide, you'll find tips such as how to hide content, setting daily limits and discussing what children have seen online and you will find all of our social media guides here:-
In a packed week for extra-curricular opoprtunities our chess team travelled to Stover School today to take part in the next round of the regional chess championships.
Well done to our students who played well but came up against a very strong Sixth Form team and will not be progressing through to the next round.
Earlier in January prospective DHSB Ten Tors 45 mile team members plus five of our already selected 55 mile team members set off after school for the second of our two night-navigation exercises.
The 45 mile students were split into four groups and Dr Colvile and Mr Guy Fierens are grateful for the volunteer support of Dave Moire and former DHSB student and Ten Tors team member Lloyd Barron-Robinson which allowed us to lead such small groups of students for some intensive training in all the navigation techniques they need to walk either in cloud or after dark.
Students demonstrated good progress since our previous outing in December, successfully locating various wall corners, leat junctions and getting very close to finding a threshing platform, all in a few square kms between Gutter Tor and Hartor.
We are also grateful to Mr Huq for driving our second minibus, and to parents who were able to collect from a relatively remote car park so Mr Huq could return home early.
We have now entered three Ten Tors 2023 teams and are still waiting for the Army to inform us if we have been allocated an additional 45 mile place, so selection for 45 miles is now extended until after our first two Sunday walks. The students meanwhile have been meeting in the Physics Department on Tuesday and Wednesday lunch times to plan their routes for their next walk.
Selecting team members as early as possible in the training programme has enabled several of our students in Year 10 to join friendly 35 mile teams run by the Tavistock Outdoor Education Forum and Dartmoor Plodders, and we remain in contact with the team Managers who would still welcome additional team members. Please speak to me if you’d like to know more about this opportunity.
This week Year 7 students have been studying growth mindset and deciding whether they (and other famous individuals) can show a combination of resilience and willingness to learn, and of course another class had their First Aid workshop with the Red Cross.
Year 8 students had two speakers on the topic of a career in architecture, linking with an art project and giving two different viewpoints. One was a former student of the school who has only recently qualified as an architect, the other an experienced director from KTA Architects in Exeter, who amongst other things were responsible for the building of the new Exeter Chiefs stadium hotel and conference facilities.
Year 9 and Year 11 both had lessons from the relationships and sex education requirements (RSE).
The Year 9 lesson was based around sending of explicit images electronically (often called sexting) and the year group will have further sessions on consent and pornography in a couple of weeks which will be delivered by presenters from the Zone.
The Year 11 lesson was a recap of the RSE lessons they have had in Year 9 and 10 and also covered AIDs and unwanted pregnancy.
Year 10 students had an introduction to T levels - an option for them to study post GCSE if they prefer not to take A levels. Lots of work experience is involved and this qualification could be ideal for students who know in which area they’d like to work.
More speakers in for the students next week - read the Head’s Blog to hear more!
Sixth Form Enrichment and Tutorial
As I write this I'm still on a high from the amazing session on Dementia awareness shared with potential medics by Kate Smith from Memory Matters (and Moments Cafe Plymouth).
Amongst so many other things we covered 'Walking alongside' through how we reacted to having to draw a 2p pence front and back - so hard! How did we cope? We all reacted differently and learnt empathy from the model. We learnt about how to use distractability and the power of a smile to connect with someone with dementia too.
Our students took so much away from this wonderfully enlightening workshop and I'm certain that they like me, feel more equipped to connect with others who may be on a dementia journey.
164 UCAS applications were sent off in time for the UCAS deadline and Year 13 students are starting to receive offers. These will serve as significant goals for them to respond well to the feedback they'll receive from their mock exams this week.
A few Year 12 students have already realised how different A level studies are following their first formal assessments and are reflecting on how their approach to independent study might change in the light of their experience this week.
This is quite a crucial turning point for some so that their May mocks influence their UCAS predictions favourably.
Finally we introduced the first of a two part focus on the sensitive topics of Public Sexual Harassment in tutorial and thank our Year 12 students for their mature engagement with this important theme.
Mr Manley said, " We are extremely proud of our Year 11 Football team who were unfortunately knocked out of the national cup yesterday after losing 2 - 1 against
Beechan Cliff School".
The opposing side added, "Brilliant performances from both teams".
We wish them every success in the next round
Our Year 10 team is playing against St Peter’s School, Gloucester, this afternoon, also in the final sixteen of the national cup. Huge congratulations for getting to this stage of the competition.
Stop Press - Fabulous news! The Year 10 team beat St Peter’s School 4 - 3 to go into the last eight of the national cup. Very well done!
St Peter's School said, "Absolute roller coaster sees a strong DHSB progress! Thanks for the hospitality and good luck in the next round".
The Year 7 team play away to Cherwell School in Oxford in the last sixteen next Friday and we wish them every success.
Mr Carpenter said, “A beautiful night for football under the lights".
Pictured are Year 7 and 8 students involved in fixtures against Plymouth College.
Well done to the Year 10/11 team who narrowly lost to Coombe Dean 34 - 32 this week.
Mr Anderson said this was a much better game and added, “Next one's a win”.