7 October 2022

The Abbot's Way Walk takes place on the first Sunday of October every year, and last Sunday was the 60th time this event has taken place.

It has become a tradition for members of our previous year's Ten Tors teams to take part prior to the start of Ten Tors team training, and DHSB students are often the first to complete the challenge.

The walk follows the ancient path from Buckfast Abbey to Tavistock Abbey across South Dartmoor and in previous centuries the monks would take a couple of days to complete the journey whenever they wished to visit their neighbours on the other side of the moor.

Last weekend, a total of 34 DHSB students in five teams set off from Buckfast before 8.00am in heavy rain, heading up into the low cloud with the 23 mile route ahead of them.

One of our two 2022 45 mile Ten Tors teams had decided to walk together and set out to break the record for the fastest completion. They succeeded in shaving several minutes off the previous record time which was also set by a DHSB team, showing incredible fitness and stamina averaging over 6 km/h carrying loaded rucksacks over the rough paths, squelchy peat bog and tussock grass.

Special thanks to parents who provided transport at the crack of dawn plus assistance reporting on the teams' progress between Erme Head and Plym Ford, as well as to Mr Huq and Ms Davidson for driving the second minibus and seeing the teams through Merrivale on their final descent from North Hessary Tor.

We are also grateful for the opportunity to have contributed, through our entry fee, to Dartmoor Search & Rescue teams' fundraising; their manning of the checkpoints along the route made a significant contribution to the safety of our teams navigating and pushing themselves so hard in such potentially inhospitable terrain.


Well done to all the students who took part.

Dr Colvile

European Day of Languages 2022

Every September we celebrate the rich tapestry of languages spoken around Europe with events in school. This year, staff across the school joined in by greeting their classes or taking their register in different languages. Well done to Mr Scott, Mr Guy-Fierens, Mr Carne and Mr Mitchell for their superb efforts! Thanks also to Dr Stears who provided a great tutorial activity for last Friday which gave students an insight into the roots of the days of the week in French, German and Spanish.

We also had a quiz in Friday's PSHEE lesson which was about the many languages that our talented DHSB staff know. For example, did you know that Mrs McConnell can speak some Japanese and German, Mr Guy-Fierens lived in Peru where he learnt Spanish and Quechua, or that Mr Roberts learnt Seychellois Creole while living in the Seychelles?

8C quiz winners


Students also had the opportunity to 'guess the language' on this quiz. Why not have a go!

Link to quiz


As well as reporting on the events on the week, Mrs Brooking has shared a poem with us called Learning a Language

Whole School Assembly

Thank you to Mr Adams who led our school assembly on How We Learn looking at the interaction of our working memory and long-term memory and how, to learn successfully, we need to link new information to our existing knowledge, and then practise retrieving it frequently until we are fluent.

Link to the assembly presentation


Student News

Well done to Robert O’Neill 9N who has won a silver medal in Judo.


Robert was competing at the Kazoku Cup.

Also congratulations to Bradley Brooking 7W who has recently achieved Grade 6 guitar from Trinity College of Music earning UCAS points and a level 3 qualification.

Performing and Creative Arts News


The Colour Purple - Lyric Writing Workshop


GCSE Music and Drama students were treated to a workshop in lyric writing, delivered by the Theatre Royal. The workshop explored themes from the recent touring production of ‘The Colour Purple’.


Students developed short songs about anger, unfairness and injustice and were a credit to the school in their positive contributions and attitude.

Year 7 Samba and Saxophones!


Music students in some Year 7 classes have been learning Samba Drumming this week, with a Samba club on Monday lunches to complement and extend the learning. They were also treated to a performance and talk on woodwind instruments from Kathryn Good, our woodwind teacher, who treated students to a juke box of pieces on alto and tenor sax, flute and clarinet, and even joined in on sax with their drumming!


Lessons are available on a rotation timetable in school and we can provide lessons in nearly all instruments. If interested either find Mrs Luing-Holmes for a letter, or email her at this address:- Emma.Luing-Holmes@dhsb.org

Beauty and The Beast


Rehearsals commenced this week with our incredible cast.


Mrs Luing-Holmes said, “We are so excited to be working with a bunch of committed, talented and enthusiastic students and cannot wait to see this show unfold. A reminder of the dates for this - 1 - 3 February 2023”.


Rehearsals for the performers are every Monday and Thursday.


Messy Monday


Students in Art were involved in ‘Messy Monday’ this week, a nationwide day project to promote the cross curricular link between Art and Biology. Students have been creating observational drawings of seed pods and shells and posting these on twitter with the handle #Messymonday.


Mr Head said, “Students used bleach on black tissue paper then a mixture of drawing ink, pens and pencils”.


These brilliant examples are by Mohammed Maarfi 12SD.

PSHEE Activities


Before I describe the tutorial lessons for this week, I want to mention our Choices Evening which takes place on Thursday 13 October from 6.00pm to 8.00pm and 8pm in the Edgcumbe Theatre, writes Ms Moreton.

We have a group of speakers from different employment sectors, and also Sharron Robbie the CEO of DCTPN (Devon & Cornwall Training Provider Network) who will each give a short presentation and be available for questions/networking afterwards.

This evening is thoroughly recommended for Year 11 and Year 13 students considering a pathway outside A levels and university, but there will be lots of useful information for any students and parents in Year 10 upwards.

Link to more information

In tutorial this week Year 7 students had the KS3 version of our lesson on sexual harassment, which also covers gender stereotyping and expectations and includes material that was developed by a group of our own students last term.

Year 8, 9 and 11 students all took part in an investigative lesson around the World Cup in Qatar from our International Links Co-ordinator, Mr Carpenter. They researched not only details of the actual event but also the history and traditions of other countries involved. Year 11 students were also asked to pitch a proposal to the head of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, offering to host the 2034 World Cup from the perspective of a country that has never hosted the event.

Finally for this week, Year 10 students were completing their mock applications for an imaginary Saturday job. The applications will be sent to various real employers around the city for critique, and some students will be chosen for demonstration mock interviews next half term.

Another busy week - just two more to complete this jam-packed half term. World Mental Health Day is next Monday and we will be looking at this subject in year group assemblies and some lessons, too. Details in next week's Head’s Blog.

Ms Moreton

Citywide Consultation

Dave Ryland, the Community Connections Strategic Manager at Plymouth City Council, has asked us to share this information.

The Community Connections department is carrying out a citywide consultation with young people aged 11 – 25 yrs old. The core theme is an enquiry about how PCC can create, expand and improve youth centres and wider offerings for young people in our city.

The consultation will run from 23 September 2022 to 21 October 2022.

Link to survey


Sports News

Year 10 Football


Well done to the Year 10 football team who got the 2022-23 season off to a good start with a win in the national cup against Eggbuckland this week.

1st XI


Mr Manley said it was another great win for the Sixth Form team this week, beating Plymouth City College 7 - 3.


Year 7 Rugby


The Year 7 rugby team played in the second session of Central Venue matches this week.


The team lost to Plympton Academy but then beat Stoke in our two games


Mr Bunney said, “12/16 new players played and it was great to give those students their first taste of a proper rugby match”.


Year 8 Rugby


DHSB hosted another Year 8 central venue rugby session this week.


The Year 8 team played Coombe Dean and Lipson. Both games were really exciting with DHSB winning one and losing one.


The team displayed excellent effort and attitude all round.