This week, our whole school assembly focussed on the important topic of bullying and today, the whole school is wearing odd socks to show their support for anti-bullying at DHSB.
Mrs Edwards led our assembly and she highlighted how powerful words and actions are and that 'one kind word' is a tool that when used can dramatically change a person's day for the better.
We will be focussing as a school on our verbal interactions over the coming weeks and ensuring that everyone clearly understands the difference between 'banter' and bullying.
The three signs that Mrs Edwards asked our students to consider to determine the difference are:
1. Is the comment reciprocal
2. Is it targeted
3. Is it personal
Please have a look at our assembly and perhaps you can encourage the use of 'one kind word' at home too.
Odd Socks Day
As Mrs Edwards has said, we are wearing odd socks today to support anti-bullying week and to celebrate what makes us unique. Pictured is just a selection of the odd socks seen around the school today.
Well done to all students and staff who took part.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
Wellbeing Advent Calendar
In the run-up to the end of term and the Christmas break, each tutor group has a copy of the Young Minds wellbeing advent calendar which has quick daily activities to complete throughout December.
Young Minds said, "We’ve created advent calendars as a countdown to the festive holidays by taking five minutes a day to do an activity that will boost wellbeing. Our calendars also provide an opportunity to learn different activities and exercises that will help students to look after their mental health".
I've included a copy here; see if there is anything you could do at home too.
We're looking forward to this year's Christmas on the following dates in Refuel.
Tuesday 7 December 2021 - Years 9 & 10
Wednesday 8 December 2021 - Years 7 & 8
Thursday 9 December 2021 - Year 11
As detailed in the letter sent to parents tickets are available to purchase on MyChildAtSchool, they must be bought in advance and the deadline for purchases is 6 December 2021. Any student who currently receives free school meals will be entitled to a Christmas dinner on the correct day for their year group.
There's a festive menu on offer for Sixth Form students too.
Christmas Jumper Day
Our Christmas Jumper Day this year will be held on Thursday 9 December. Students and staff will be supporting the house charities - more on this next week.
Ms Cunningham has shared an example of excellent work this week.
She said, “As part of National Maths Week we promoted an external competition from MEI (Mathematics, Education, Innovation). It was a Maths Art competition using Desmos. Arley Walker 7W entered and here is his entry. It's fab”.
Sixth Form News
It is always a pleasure to hear from and meet former DHSB students writes Ms Davidson and this term Scott Horner, a Barrister from Devon Chambers, kindly came in to speak with potential lawyers, sharing useful insights into pathways to Law and careers relating to this field.
Recently we were also fortunate enough to host Richard Bullard from the south west charity, It’s in the Bag and as a consequence of his inspiring talk, a large number of students are now sporting the iconic ‘orange pants’ pin badges which prompt discussion about checking regularly for signs of testicular cancer.
I am thrilled to hear that the Campbell House Captains are pledging to support this charity prominently as they embark on fund raising efforts for the year and become superheroes themselves!
Mr McConnell has recently installed clip frames to display the IITB posters in changing rooms and around the school site so we hope the messages serve our community preventatively and well.
We are very grateful to the teachers and friends of the school (Dr Ian Hodgins pictured here) who give so freely of their time to support students in their Interview preparations.
We are also grateful to Dr Carmel Boyhan-Irvine and her colleague Dr Andy Potter at North Road West Medical Centre who have offered marvellous and extensive support to a number of hopeful medical students prior to and through the pandemic in terms of work placement and also guidance on Inclusion medicine from the perspective of an inner city Practice.
If any parents can offer work related learning opportunities in any fields, please do get in touch with us at this email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
35 mile Ten Tors Selection Week
Many thanks to all the staff who led and supported the 35 mile Ten Tors team selection week during Curriculum Challenge Week, and thank you to Mr Clifford for sharing this report.
After almost two years it was a welcome return back to Nun’s Cross Farm for this years 35 mile Ten Tors selection week.
Dartmoor never disappoints and on arrival there was almost unbroken sky with a vista as far as the eye could see, weather conditions were to get colder and wetter as the week went on.
The familiar thread running through this week remained, teamwork, leadership communication and resilience. Students learnt how to work as part of a small team in testing and challenging conditions which without doubt once again challenged everyone both physically and mentally at various points throughout the week.
Students learnt how to survive and look after themselves as well as learning some technical navigational skills which will stay with them for a lifetime. Students also learnt how to navigate at night as well as navigating using a route card without the advantage of a map. Reminding them all that success is always in the planning and preparation of any task or operation. A hard and demanding week that saw all the students pull together and foster a sense of esprit de corps and togetherness as well as reflect upon their own performance in terms of individual strengths and weaknesses.
Well, after the excitement of being off timetable last week for Curriculum Challenge Week we are back to the routine workface again in the three week run up to Christmas. New Covid strains, icy or stormy weather and seasonal illnesses notwithstanding everyone, staff and students, are exhibiting their usual resilience as we head towards the final weeks of what seems a very long half term!
On Wednesday all students, except Year 11, joined in an Anti-Bullying assembly from Mrs Edwards with follow up activities to complete in form groups..
Today Year 7 students continued with their STEPs workbooks completing activities on What influences me and Whose opinion is most valued. They then progressed to ranking different jobs in a variety of ways, and if time, considered their own personal qualities. There will be one more week on these workbooks next Friday.
Year 8 students had two speakers this week, James Heard (an old boy of the school) who has just finished a degree in architecture, and a regular visitor Ajay Sharma from Kensington Taylor Architects in Exeter. The talks covered different stages in career progression in this field, and linked with an architecture project that students are undertaking as part of their Art curriculum this term. A terrific example of linking school work to higher education to career progression!
In Year 9 this week students carried on with the project they started last week in Curriculum Challenge Week but this time working with their own tutors. Having been set a teamwork and design challenge by either Babcock, Princess Yachts or Bailey Partnership they are continuing to research and plan ideas. They will have a further one or two lessons after Christmas to finalise plans and record their presentations for judging by the employers. Another great way to link school with the world of work.
Year 10 students completed the three week tutor carousel, so that all six classes have now attended short workshops on six different topics, blood donation, driving, humanity's great love affair, your memory (a user's guide), eudamonia, budgets.
So last but not least, Year 11 students spent their lesson this morning watching Mrs Edward's assembly as their lesson on Wednesday was devoted to a presentation from Mr Adams and other staff regarding options for joining DHSB Sixth Form.
Links to the Sixth Form prospectus and how to apply have already been circulated by Mr Adams. Students also had a chance to hear briefly from the teachers who lead Politics and Psychology A levels as these subjects are new in the Sixth Form and all were encouraged to speak to subject leads of any curriculum areas they are considering for A level study.
And of course, once again, we reiterate the need for a Plan B for next year, in case exams do not go as well as hoped…
That's all until next week - take care and stay safe.
Mr Carpenter said there were, "Really good performances from the Year 7 football team again".
The team finished the second round of fixtures with a win and a loss. Well done!
Also, it was another excellent win for the first XI who came from behind to beat City College Plymouth 9 - 3.
The 1st XV played well this week but lost their match against Exeter School 5 - 0.
Mr Bunney said, “Well done to the Year 7 basketball team who played in their first night of Central Venue fixtures against St Boniface and Plympton Academy this week. First proper game for many! Lots to learn but great fun! Well done”.