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4 December 2020

This week I was delighted to judge the annual Christmas Card competition.

I invited the finalists to a Fish and Chips lunch today.

There were many excellent entries and it was difficult to choose the winners.

Well done to the following three students - their designs will be made into cards which will be sent to our friends in the community.

Fiacre Chong 7P

Aras Antanavicius 7W

William Tawse 7W

Advent Challenges and the Big Refuel Christmas Dinner

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at DHSB with our Christmas card designs being chosen and the 12 Days of Christmas ‘Advent Challenge’ going live this week.

Set by Ms Buckler in the Learning Commons, students and staff are encouraged to complete the daily challenge - leading to big prizes at the conclusion!

Students in tutor groups are also working through the Young Minds wellbeing advent calendar which gives a daily five minute activity to help boost wellbeing and look after our mental health in the lead up to the holidays.

As an example of the activities, day four saw 8N students decorating trees with the names of those who support them every day.

Students and parents will shortly receive news about this year's Big Refuel Christmas Dinner.

This will be served on the following dates and information about buying tickets will be in the letter to families.

Tuesday 15 December 2020 - Years 8 & 9

Wednesday 16 December 2020 - Years 10 & 11

Thursday 17 December 2020 - Year 7

Christmas Charity News

A very big thank you to everyone who has donated to our recent collection of food items.

Everything that has been collected will be given to either the Plymouth Foodbank (Oasis Project) or Hope Baptist Church (Gift of Hope) and will be distributed to families who may be struggling this Christmas.

Pictured is just a small fraction of the items that have been received in school so thank you.

Aim High Assembly

This week our whole school assembly, led by Mr Berryman and watched by students in their tutor groups, was on the theme of ‘Aim High’.

Mr Berryman said, “This week’s assembly asked students to think about how they set their bar in life. Looking at all aspects of their day to day life taking into consideration time, prioritising and planning for failure, however not fearing failure but learning and developing from it. Learning discussions were added to make the assembly interactive and the concept of ‘anything is possible if you apply yourself’ was the underlying message. An extension task was added to develop understanding of the messages”.

Tutorial Programme

Ms Davidson leads the Sixth Form tutorial programme and today students received a visit from Luke Pollard MP.

Ms Davidson said, "We were so lucky to have Luke in school today to talk to members of Year 12 and to answer questions on a wide range of topics from our students. Luke celebrated so many things that are wonderful about our city and encouraged students to be more proud of what Plymouth has to offer. He championed tolerance and humanity in Politics.

"Luke spoke about how he believes there is a need for cross-party cooperation to bring about change and raise the prospects of Plymouth's economy, health and well-being. He described disparity in the funding allocated to various cities around the country, the problems with transport links and attracting businesses alongside celebrating the National Marine Park status (recently won and afforded to our shoreline). We were shocked to hear that 20% of Plymouth children have never been to the sea or visited the beach and that this relates to limited affluence. He answered questions on the stability of the dockyard and on equality in humanity for LGBT people as well as lessons learned from the USA elections. The main impression for our students was one of the possibility for humane, decent political debate from someone who cares deeply about securing change".

Year 10 students had mock interviews today and also received feedback on their practice applications, which was all very useful. Thank you to all who contributed.

DHSB STEAM Creativity Competition

The DHSB STEAM Creativity competition was launched in September when Ms Davarian challenged students to find an example of creativity in their community: a piece of art, nature or anything which they considered to be innovative, unique or inventive.

Ms Davarian said, “The response was fantastic and we had a range of entries from Year 7 - Year 11. With the help of Mr Adams and Mrs Burdon, the entries were judged and we had three overall winners and several highly commended entries.

“Our first winner, Sam Lord 8N, captured Look II with a backdrop of brilliant blue sky and a person mirroring the sculpture looking out to sea.

“Our second winner was Oisin Smith 8C, clearly a talented young photographer whose images used a range of tonal values to capture some wonderful natural images.

“Finally, Isaac Souray 11S captured a really hopeful image which we felt reminded us of how we have connected with nature over this difficult year and the sun shining through those blades of grass was uplifting and full of positivity.

“Well done to all students who entered. It was wonderful to see your entries and look out for them around the school”.

Thank you to Ms Davarian for sharing her assembly slides which include the winning images and well done to Sam, Oisin and Isaac.

Excellent Work

Our examples of Excellent Work this week are from Mrs Boon (Food & Nutrition)

Mrs Boon said, “Pictured are examples of Year 11 practical skills courswork trials. As you can see they are brilliant”.

Excellent Art Work

Mr Head is going to share some art work with us each week.

This week’s examples are by Vincent Stevens Year 12.

Mr Head said, “This is a drypoint etching from Vincent's ongoing A level personal investigation. Vincent was asked to create a sequence so had to adapt and change each print from the previous to develop his ideas further”.

eSafety Advice


TikTok, known in China as Douyin, is a Chinese video-sharing social networking service owned by ByteDance. The social media platform is used to make a variety of short-form videos, from genres like dance, comedy, and education, that have a duration from 3 to 60 seconds and it is insanely popular. This week we take a quick look at it and the parental controls you have access too.

What is it?

TikToks mission is “to capture and present the world’s creativity, knowledge, and precious life moments, directly from the mobile phone. TikTok enables everyone to be a creator, and encourages users to share their passion and creative expression through their videos.”

TikTok has 800 million active users worldwide (Datareportal, 2020). That makes TikTok 9th in terms of social network sites, ahead of better known sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat.

Is it safe?

When you sign up for TikTok, your account is public by default, meaning anyone can see your videos, send you direct messages, and use your location information and as with many social networks, there have been instances of adults contacting children inappropriately on the app.

It is also worth knowing that Panorama recently aired an episode on TikTok failing to ban a flagged child predator - which you can read about here.

There have also been reports of darker content, like videos depicting self-harm and violence, on the app. TikTok collects information from users, including technical and behavioral information, location, shared social network information, messages, metadata, contacts, and more.

Parental Controls

Family Pairing is a parental control feature on TikTok that allows a parent to link their TikTok account to their teen's and set controls including:

Screen time management — control how long your teen can spend on TikTok each day.

Restricted mode — limit the appearance of content that may not be appropriate for all audiences

Direct messages – Restrict who can send messages to the connected account, or turn off direct messaging completely

For full instructions on using family pairing - please go here

Ms Buckler

Christmas Jumper Day

And finally this week, a reminder that it’s Christmas Jumper Day on Thursday 10 December. This year we are fundraising for Bristol Children’s Hospital and St Luke’s Hospice.

We’ll share some photos of our festive fun next Friday.


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