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28 March 2024

In total, around 100 students at the school have a close family member who is currently serving or who has recently served in the Armed Forces.

Our half-termly service breakfast is a great way to make connections and provide support for the students.

The breakfasts are very informal and are a chance for the Proctors, Mr Campbell and Mrs Rodell, and Ms Taylor, our Family Support Advisor, to talk with the students, welcome any newcomers and ask if anyone has a parent who is away at the moment.

The breakfast includes a general knowledge quiz and activities that will bond the group and get students talking with others in the same situation. This also gives a good opportunity to offer support with like-minded students, and meet any special requirements for individuals, if needed. 

This morning we were pleased to welcome the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Cllr Mark Shayer, who had expressed an interest in finding out more about the support we offer to our service family students.

House Assemblies

This week saw the House Captains deliver the first face-to-face assembly of their tenure to their respective Houses.

Their brief was 'My Leadership Journey' and across the six assemblies we saw a lot of diversity in the interpretation of this title. The audiences were engaged and heard about some great examples of leadership both here at DHSB and in the wider world. There were personal links made with the topic and it was so positive to hear our House Captains share their experiences with their peers.

We saw some anticipated nerves, but everyone powered through and contributed to the successful completion of their first live assembly.

As Head of Houses, I am incredibly proud of the efforts and some of the individual barriers overcome this week. One of the best demonstrations of leadership to our students is the act of standing in front of 180 students and delivering confidently.

Well done to all.

Miss Cunningham








On Wednesday, we were pleased to welcome 23 students and their teachers from Ecuador. The group is currently staying in Plymouth and studying English at the Mayflower College.

They came to DHSB for the afternoon to find out more about British education and meet some of our Spanish students.

Our Year 12 Spanish A Level students and some of our Year 10 Spanish GCSE students helped them to settle in with some icebreaker activities before taking them on a tour of the school.

They then met a Year 7 Spanish class, who found out some interesting facts about how Easter is celebrated in Ecuador. I think that 7C were shocked that chocolate eggs do not form a part of Ecuadorian Easter traditions! 

The staff at Refuel put on a lovely lunch for our guests which was supplemented by some pasties kindly donated by Friary Mill.

In the afternoon we heard some more from our Ecuadorian visitors about their country and their culture, and burned off some of our pasties with a game of dodgeball. Mr Orkney impressed us with his countdown in Spanish! 

We wish our visitors a safe trip back to Ecuador on Saturday. 

Mrs Brooking

Enterprise Club

Very well done to Jacob Crow 8P who has organised an Easter trail event at Crownhill Fort on Monday 1 April.

Crownhill Fort will be open to the public for the first time this year and will allow members of the public to attend a walking trail around the site amongst other activities. Jacob is new to the enterprise club and has organised this opportunity by himself, which is a fantastic achievement!

We wish him luck at the event and hope it goes well.

If you are interested in attending the event please click on this link to pre-book your tickets.

Mrs Pyle

Student News

Well done to Rowan Shilling 8E who played with the Devon Youth Orchestra in a concert in Exeter Cathedral on Friday evening.

Rowan also took part in a 'Symphony in a Day' with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  playing Beethoven's 5th Symphony alongside professionals and other amateurs as the youngest player there. 


It's been brilliant to see the entries for the British Science Week poster competition; well done to those of you who entered. More on prizewinners at the start of next term.

It's also been another busy term with this update from Eureka! Science Club. Students at the club recently undertook the challenge to use potatoes and lemons as batteries.

Dr Chapman-Grieg reports, "Our challenge was to combine different numbers of potatoes and lemons in series and parallel circuits.The current and voltage were measured for each configuration and the added challenge was to see how many LEDs students could get to light up. One group was particularly successful with the most fruit and veg in series with the most LEDs. Well done to Ollie O'Neill, Teddy Wickham, Tom Mills and Jayden Low".

Ms Davarian

Excellent Work

Many thanks to Dr Downes for sharing these examples of Excellent Work.

In English Year 9 students have been studying narrative and different ways of sharing stories. As part of this unit students have been learning about graphic stories and the skills needed to read the blend of word and visual image found within graphic texts. They have also investigated the importance of folklore and how the oral basis of such stories can affect the reading. Finally, students have been able to explore and evaluate the impact of front covers on how we understand written text. Students have had the opportunity, both in class and in the creative menu homework, to create their own graphic stories but also to evaluate some stories from folklore. 

Adham, Miko and Daniel all embraced the graphic format and their stories show the blending of word and image to successfully create meaning for the reader. The front covers by Jack, Miko and Max  demonstrate a clear understanding of the importance and influence of a book’s cover at creating initial meaning. The story Iridescent Adolescent focuses on a teenager’s struggle to be true to herself and is seen through the use of colourful images. All 3 students have captured the importance of reflecting this on the cover.  Finally, the creative work from Dan and Jai shows their exploration of folklore; they have blended images and the written word to share their reflections. All these students show detailed  comprehension of the narrative explored and have embraced the opportunity to do so in a creative way. 

Dr Downes

Chess Regional Finals

Well done to six DHSB students who took part in the regional chess finals against Exeter School yesterday.

The fixture was held in the Learning Commons and although our students played well, unfortunately we lost by 4 games to 2.

All the best to Exeter School who go forward to the next round.

Performing and Creative Arts Update

Lunchtime pop-up concert

Refuel opened the partition doors to reveal a pop-up gig today from a selection of bands from Year 8 to Year 11! 

Lunchtime queuers were enthralled with the eclectic mix of entertainment as they waited for lunches and we were treated to a delicious mix of Year 8 blues, soul music, Liam K on guitar and voice, Year 11 bands and more.

Jazz workshop

On Tuesday 26 March our A level students were invited to join the Jim Hart Trio in exploring contemporary jazz performance and composition, at the Market Hall in Devonport. Three of our students took part in challenging rhythm exercises with this highly acclaimed band and were part of a Q and A with the band exploring touring music and music performance as a career. 

The experience took place in the amazing dome inside the building - well worth a visit!

Livewire - Saltash

Thanks to Plymouth Music Education Hub, three local schools collaborated and performed at Livewire which is a youth music project in Saltash that promotes and sustains excellence in live music for young people.

Two of our Year 9 ensembles performed an excellent repertoire, and it was equally brilliant for our students to watch performances and learn from music students at Lipson and Millbay Academies.

The venue is terrific and we hope to be back soon. Thanks Year 9 Music students, and Mr Orkney for the lift.

Year 9 ensemble evening 

Our class of 26 students in Year 9 performed a wide range of ensembles as part of their GCSE music ensemble performance exam on Wednesday 20 March. Mrs LH is extremely proud of the class and the attitude toward performance was excellent. 

We were also treated to ‘Noys’, our triple gold award winning choir, and ‘Live n Loud’, the Year 8/9 rock club with Mr Creber.

A level recital evening

Our four Grade 6 - 8 students performed an exquisite and varied programme of music for their mock A level recital.

The event was well attended and the students were highly impressive in their musical skill.

Four ten minute recitals were wrapped up with an ensemble performance of Basin Street Blues to reflect their AOS Jazz as part of the course.

Thanks to Mr Newton for organising this evening. 

Torbay music festival gala celebration evening

On the same night as our Year 9 ensembles played at DHSB, our Year 11 and 12 students performed at a gala evening for the Torbay Festival, after being asked to play, as the most outstanding ensemble in the whole festival. 

They made their own way there, set up and performed magnificently. 

Well done, Billie, Ethan, Alice, Jack, Elliot and Tom, you have really excelled in this recent piece. 

Exam success 

Well done to the following students on passing their music exams.

Zen Kenwar Grade 5 Flute - Merit

Sol Dean Grade 1 Clarinet - Pass

Daragh Grimes Grade 1 Piano - Merit 

Elliot Mair Grade 6 Tenor Horn - Distinction 

Well done also to Tristan De Rochefort-Roper and Maximillian Chapman for performing professionally as part of the Plymouth Symphony Orchestra at the most recent concert.

Also Rowan Shilling for performing in Exeter Cathedral with Devon Youth Orchestra and Angus Fielding soloing as part of the strings day at St Andrew's Church. 

NEW theatre company 

We are auditioning for a new theatre company for our lower school students. The aim is to train a group of students to achieve outstanding theatrical skills, in both drama, musical theatre, devising and movement, and produce termly show backs of these skills. The training will take place on Friday lunchtimes, and as we near the end of term, will utilise Mondays after school as well. 

We can only offer 30 places across the whole of Year 7 and Year 8 so auditions will take place for this on Friday 19 April at lunchtime in the theatre. 

Students will be given an on the spot task, so no need to prepare any acting work, and asked to sing a few lines from a song that will be taught at the audition. 

The company will be run by Mrs Luing-Holmes and Assistant Director Rudi Gibbs, with help from our role models in Drama, our subject ambassadors. 

NEW extra-curricular timetable and instrument lessons

In the first week back we will have a new Creative Arts extra-curricular timetable including daily art clubs, drama club and rehearsals for our student led production of A Streetcar Named Desire. 

Steel Pan continues on Wednesday nights in the theatre 6.30pm - 7.30pm. This is open to anyone and is free of charge! 

Vocal lessons are completely booked up and our singers are taking their Trinity and Rock School exams during the summer term.

Cameron Mills Group provides us with both Rock Project - an after school club £5 per week - for DHSB students to learn group instrumental skills and high quality 1:1 vocal lessons. If interested in either please contact

Instrumental lessons and LAMDA lessons

We are now opening the sign-up for instrument lessons and LAMDA lessons from September 2024, these are already filling up with our new intake of students, so any new starters will need to register ASAP by contacting who will direct your registration to the appropriate teacher. 

Mrs Luing-Holmes


We're ending the term on a big positive - our annual trip to Alton Towers has been launched and will take place on Saturday 18 May 2024. The trip is for students in Years 7 - 10 at DHSB, DHSG AND PHSG, and their guests (relevant years only). Further details and ticket link in the DHSB Shop at this link.

Please volunteer to help on the day if you can as regrettably the trip cannot go ahead if we do not have enough volunteers.

Also please buy early to avoid disappointment as ticket sales will close before the deadline of Sunday 5 May if we reach capacity before that date. Over 75% of tickets have already sold in just three days! 

We also launched our popular calendar photography competition this week and details have been emailed to all students. The Easter holidays will be a great opportunity for students to hone their photography skills - please remind them about our competition.

A big thank you to Joanna, Lianne and Rachel for providing the bar at the Spring Ensemble Concert last week.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 30 April at 6.30pm in the Conference Room which is directly behind the Visitor Reception.  Refreshments provided.  Please come along if you can, we'd love to meet you.

Please follow our social media for updates on forthcoming events:

X (formerly Twitter) @DHSBPTFA

Mrs Kinsella

PTFA Liaison 

And Finally

And finally this week, before you catch up with our sports news, we'd like to wish you a very Happy Easter.

We currently have staff and students in Italy on our largest ever ski trip and a group of students participating in their Gold DofE practice expedition on Dartmoor later in the holidays.

The first day of the summer term is Monday 15 April 2024.

Sports Update

Cunningham Cup

On Friday the Year 7 rugby team took part in the historic Cunningham Cup rugby festival. The event which is now in its 35th year provides a fitting end to the rugby season and saw eight schools from across the city competing throughout the day.

The DHSB team who train every Thursday after school won all of their seven games playing exciting free flowing rugby along the way.

The squad were awarded the cup and their winner medals at the end of a tiring but enjoyable day. What a fantastic way to finish the season!

Thank you to Zack Smith 9P for all his help in coaching the team this season and well done to all the players involved.

Mr Strang

Rosslyn Park

Our U13 rugby side competed in the annual Rosslyn Park seven-a-side tournament last Friday. We travelled to London the day before and stayed in a Premier Inn in Wimbledon.

This is the largest school seven-a-side rugby competition in the world and on the day we played against five other schools and got to watch some excellent rugby as well. The school won three of their games; narrowly lost one and were well beaten in another.

The team performed exceptionally well and have learned a lot from this experience.

Although it was a long and late journey home the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and will be keen to go again next year.

Mr Orkney


Mr Callicott reports a fantastic turnout of Year 7 and Year 8 students v Plymouth College on Monday, with plenty of good football on show.

This was also the case with the turn of Year 9 and Year 10 students who played Plymouth College on Tuesday evening.


Mr Winstone reports a great afternoon at the Plymouth Indoor Rowing Championships with lots of medals, healthy competition and all in a supportive atmosphere.


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