Once again it is that time of year where Remembrance is at the forefront of our consciousness.
As a school community we are committed to educating our students on our wartime history. We will be holding our own remembrance whole school assembly next week.
We are also a member of HMS Heroes, a national support group for the children of service men and women and their relatives. We were invited by HMS Heroes to ask a group of students to take a wooden poppy cross and write a message on it. The writing could be a generic message of Remembrance for our Armed Forces or a message of Remembrance for a relative or friend of that family. The poppy crosses will be taken to the HMS Heroes plot at the field of Remembrance at Royal Wootton Bassett by local students who will plant them and lay a wreath for us. In addition, George Allan and Liam Ward will be representing DHSB at the city Service of Remembrance on Plymouth Hoe on Sunday morning. You can read more here. Mr Mitchell and Mrs Moore shared breakfast this morning with our service family students and I’d like to thank them both for their continued support.
Governor Support and Challenge
We hosted the annual seminar for Governors in the refurbished Learning Commons (which makes an excellent conference venue) yesterday. Carolyn Bruce-Spencer, Chair of Governors, said, “This was a very interesting session with an overview of the school development priorities and an opportunity to record and reflect on governor activity and impact.” We are grateful for the support and challenge provided by our Governors. They will be creating a more visible presence on our website during the new few weeks.
A reminder that our Safeguarding webpage has some recent updates including links to parents’ guides on Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation.
Students of the Week
Well done to the following students who have all been recently recognised and rewarded as ‘Student of the Week’. Alex Photiou 9S For supporting another student in need of help at Sports Day. Matthew Williams 8P For supporting the school and community without any prompting at Sports Day. Josh Tomkins 6S2, Matt Walker 6N1, Megan Robins 6C1, Finn Jenkins 6C1 For successfully and professionally carrying out Peer Mentor interviews. Henry Spencer 11W For being an ambassador for the school at the Year 7 tea parties, answering parental questions and making everyone feel welcome. Peter Clifford 10P For completing the Tour de Moor on behalf of St Luke’s Hospice.
Product Design Celebration Event
Congratulations to Mrs Brown and her colleagues on staging a successful event just before half term. The students’ work on display was outstanding and many parents and families attended to view the exhibits.
Junior Vets on Call
You may remember that Eddie Fox and Samarth Basavapatna, now in Year 8, took part in filming for the CBBC Junior Vets on Call programme last year. Eddie can be seen in episode six (click here); Samarth will be seen in the second series.
You will know that two staff international visits to our partner schools took place over half term. Mrs Burdon and Miss Randles visited Shining Stars in Kathmandu and Mrs Marsh and Mrs Pearson went to Zimasa School in Cape Town.
Shining Stars School
As soon as Miss Randles and I landed in Kathmandu, Nepal, we were bombarded with colours, sounds and sights that were totally unfamiliar to us writes Mrs Burdon. We then became quickly aware that there were some initial problems, a fuel crisis in Kathmandu and of course the earthquake damage. Our first day at Shining Stars saw a welcome that we will never forget. We were treated like royalty! There was a parade of teachers and students, which we walked through, and many pupils had small posies of flowers and brightly coloured scarves for us. We were shown around the school and shown classes of students from three years to 16 years. We were immediately impressed by the pupils’ use of language, keenness to learn, and their polite and warm manner. We had several conversations with the Headteacher, Jeevnath Aryal, his colleagues and various student groups including the Head Girl and Boy and House Captains. A special assembly led by myself and Miss Randles allowed us to present some gifts to the student leaders. Maps of the school produced by DHSB geographers and ceramic and artwork were also presented to Shining Stars.
Zimasa School, Cape Town
Mrs Marsh and I spent half term visiting our partner school Zimasa in Cape Town, South Africa writes Mrs Pearson. The school was very welcoming, allowing us to observe several lessons and providing numerous opportunities to speak with both teachers and students. The teenagers were inquisitive about DHSB students and their career aspirations; we found this to be the same for the Zimasa students who wanted to be lawyers, doctors, chefs and dancers. There were many opportunities for us to share our cultural experiences, with particular highlights being the incredible performances by the school choir and dance group. Teachers from Zimasa also showed us around the city, and we were fortunate enough to visit Table Mountain and the humbling prison on Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent several years of his sentence. We were impressed by how the school uses the resources they have in a creative and successful way in order to give their students a diverse and fulfilling education. This exchange has allowed all of us to reflect on our different teaching practices, education systems and lives in general, which has inspired teachers in both countries to implement new ideas and approach learning with a different perspective.
All four members of staff will welcome any questions about their visits and there will be more information in the next edition of DHSB Today.
Spotlight on Sport
This school has always fielded strong badminton teams and we’re pleased to share more success this week. Well done to the U18 team who won the Plymouth Schools Championships and the U16s who beat Plymstock School and Lipson Cooperative Academy in the first round of the Plymouth Schools competition.
Congratulations also to Toby Leung 9E who has been awarded a prestigious two year sponsorship from FZ Forza, the largest badminton company in Europe. FZ Forza commented, “We are impressed with Toby’s ability, work ethic and potential in badminton. He would be a good advocate to inspire and motivate others”. During half term Toby (still only 13) won the U15 boys singles tournament in Berkshire.
Events next week
Parents will have received our fridge calendar by email this week (also available here). Don’t forget to continue to check the live calendar in case any dates or times change. Next week is a busy week for our PTFA as they have a meeting on Wednesday evening at 7.00pm and then head to Cardiff for the annual shopping trip on Saturday. You are all welcome to attend on Wednesday evening but the shopping trip is sold out! Please contact Michaela Armstrong if you would like to know more about how you could support our PTFA (firstname.lastname@example.org)
‘The Early Years’
I can also recommend a visit to the special exhibition curated by GP and old boy Ian Hodgins (our Speech Day guest of honour in 2014). Ian is currently researching the history of the school and you can see the first displays of his work at the Ford Park Cemetery visitor centre.