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29 January 2021

I am delighted that the quality of our university candidates has been recognised by admission tutors again this year.

Six DHSB students have received offers from the University of Cambridge.

  • Olivia Ambler has an offer from Girton College, Cambridge to read Engineering

  • Jonah Barretto has an offer from Magdalene College, Cambridge to read Engineering

  • Will Ford has an offer from Emmanuel College, Cambridge to read Mathematics

  • Grace Hodge has an offer from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge to read Education with Psychology

  • Steven Luo has an offer from Trinity College Cambridge to read Medicine

  • Alex Weatherhead has an offer from St John's College, Cambridge to read Natural Sciences

Sharon Davidson, Assistant Head Post-16, said, “Being a teenager is hard today as they face so many pressures and we are delighted for our six Oxbridge offer holders this year. They have triumphed in the highly competitive initial steps of extra entrance tests and online interviews to secure an opportunity to study at such a prestigious institution. Despite the challenges of lockdowns and remote learning, we are proud of how they continue to engage in personal development and rigorous study to (hopefully) make their ambition become a reality this summer”

Whilst this week we are celebrating the success of students gaining offers for the highly competitive courses at Cambridge we are equally pleased for other students who are receiving offers for a variety of higher education and degree apprenticeship courses. The fields of Medicine, Engineering and Law continue to be increasingly popular study areas for those going into higher education as well as ‘Employment’ in the Business and Financial sector. Alongside these areas, a number of students are planning varied gap year opportunities and pathways. For these leavers in particular we encourage them to be patient and to take the time to explore their intellect and talents, while having fun and developing their entrepreneurial skill set in an ‘adaptive’ sense, This will be increasingly significant as our society moves through this pandemic.

Around the World in 40 Days

Thanks to Mr Orkney for this update.

Today is day 18/40 in our attempt to travel around the world as a school in 40 days. At the time of writing we have recorded almost 8,000 miles which brings us (via a slight detour) to the Indonesian island of Bali.

So enjoy a brief stop off here but then we need to push on as we are slightly behind schedule. A beautiful weekend of wind and rain is forecast so let's get out there and clock up some miles.

Good luck and thanks to everyone who has contributed so far.

Looking Back

You may have seen a feature in the Plymouth Herald this week looking back on the foundation of the school. If you haven’t yet read this then please click on the link below which will take you to a pdf version of the feature.

Well done and thank you to Beverley Kinsella, Coordinator of our 125 celebrations who write the article for publication.

Please use this link to sign-up to receive more information about our 125th anniversary year.

Digital Leaders Update

On Monday, two of our Digital Leaders, Noah Evans 10C and George Cleeland-Smith 10E helped Ms Buckler to host a webinar detailing how a student digital leadership team can impact education.

Noah said, “We spoke about how the Digital Leader programme started, what we do and how we do it, and some of our biggest projects over the years. We also explained how other schools could start a Digital Leadership team, and what steps they should take to implement a successful programme. All in all, it was a great experience to show other schools what we at DHSB have successfully implemented and used over the past seven years”.

Well done Noah and George. Ms Buckler says you are great ambassadors for the school.

Please take the time to read through their slides where you can find out more about how a digital leader programme can have a positive impact in schools.

Student News


Well done to Isaac Souray 11S who has been continuing with his hobby of photography during this period of lockdown.

He has sent me three examples of his work and says that the image with the sun rays through the trees shows most technical skill.


Very well done to Byron Perry whose article on The Arecibo Observatory has been published on the Scientific Teen website.

Byron is a regular contributor to the site with an article on 2020 space events due to be published soon. He also proofreads other students’ writing.

Byron Perry 6CMC

Excellent Work

Our examples of excellent work this week are from Ms Brown’s Year 7 Design and Technology class.

Ms Brown said, “These examples are from Year 7’s first online lesson learning the 3d drawing technique of isometric drawing. I am really impressed with their work”.

Jianyu Wang 7W

Benjamin Collins 7N

Noah Blee-Gardiner 7E

Student Book Reviews

Thank you to Sina Vahidi 6WB who has shared a book recommendation and review this week.

Sina has been reading A Promised Land by Barack Obama.

Sina said, “A Promised Land was a good read because it gave a personal insight into Obama as a person, and how his experiences and motives of trying to find purpose led him into law, and finally politics. Alongside this, the book describes his campaign, becoming president and the triumphs and hardships he faced going through this journey. I liked this book and I highly recommend it”.

If you’d like to recommend a book then please complete and submit this Google form.

PHSEE Activities

These are the PSHEE, Citizenship and Careers activities that were posted this morning on students' tutorial google classrooms. Please check these feeds regularly, not only on a Friday morning, as they are used to post details of other extra opportunities arising, especially for Years 10 - 13 as well as the regular Friday tutorial lessons for Year 7 - 11.

Year 7 students this week had an environmental lesson all about recycling, asking them to think about their own usage and discovering more about local facilities and national targets. Did you know we throw away enough rubbish each year in Devon to cover the pitch at Argyle to a depth of more than 400m?

The Year 8 lesson was about fraud - understanding what it is and looking at a couple of specific scenarios that students could possibly encounter and thinking about how to deal with them, as well as the legal repercussions that can ensue from different types of fraud.

Year 9 students are continuing to work on the employer-led challenges that have been set by Babcock, Princess Yachts and Bailey Architects, for different form groups. This activity will be completed when students are back in school and can work together to develop their current online plans.

Year 10 students have a presentation from ASK (Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge) led by the CSW group, and will have the chance to register on the apprenticeship website in a couple of weeks time. This is recommended even if they don't currently anticipate applying as circumstances and opportunities may change over the next couple of years, as the current situation has proved.

And last but not least, Year 11 students are refreshing their knowledge of the Prevent (terrorism) agenda. Whilst there is still thankfully a relatively low risk in the South West area it is important that we all remain vigilant and aware of the possible dangers.

eSafety Advice

This week in tutor time students have been looking at terms and conditions of the websites and web apps that they may choose to sign up to and how it is so important to understand what you are signing up.

I think it's fair to say that many of us just tick the box as the terms and conditions look to be lengthy and boring. In July 2017, this reluctance on customers’ part to check what they were signing was tested by Manchester-based Wi-Fi provider Purple, who inserted a clause in its T&Cs for two weeks so that people who signed up to the service were legally committed to spending 1000 hours doing community service, including cleaning toilets and unblocking sewers. To see who was paying attention, they offered a prize to anyone who contacted them about the clause. Only one person claimed it.

To combat this lack of understanding in children, the Children’s Commissioner of England worked with the law firm Schillings to create simplified versions of the T&Cs for Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube. These were rewritten into child-friendly language as part of its Growing up Digital report, transforming the site’s seven pages of T&Cs into an easy-to-read one-page list.

‘We found that many children use social media and other platforms without understanding them fully, nor the consequences of signing up to them, such as the use and sometimes, the sale, of personal data collected about them by the service provider, and the tracking of their location,’ says Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield.

‘Many of the popular social media sites can be joined by 13-year-olds or over but very few adults, let alone children, would be able to understand the lengthy terms and conditions they make us sign up to. We have worked with lawyers to look at exactly what it meant by ticking the ‘I have read and agreed the Terms and Conditions’ box and to rewrite them so that a 13-year-old could actually understand them.

‘This is an important step in rebalancing the power between social media companies and their younger users. These companies have a huge amount of power and control yet they are far from transparent.

‘It is important that the internet is a place where children can be citizens not just users, creative, but not addicted, and curious without the risk that their personal information will be monetised by the social networks they love to use.’

If you would like to go through these simplified terms and conditions with your child - they can be found here

Ms Buckler


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