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8 April 2022

Many congratulations to our U13 team who took the national table tennis title last weekend at the Butterfly Schools Team Championships in Wolverhampton.

A fantastic achievement.

The team defeated Wade Deacon High from Widnes 8 - 0 and both Reading School and Altrincham Grammar School for Boys 6 - 2.

Team members are Oliver Cunningham 8N , Leo Nguyen 8N, Lucas Ceasar 8N and Hugo Nguyen 8C.

Mr Campbell, Enrichment Coordinator, said: “From the very start of our journey to the final, the team conducted themselves incredibly well and are a true credit to the school. The standard of table tennis they played throughout this tournament has been a joy to watch”.

Hugo added, “I feel extraordinary and very rewarded about winning. We were quite nervous at the start and we kept fighting and started playing better.”

I invited the team to Lunch with the Head today so I could congratulate them and find out more about the championships.

Mr Mitchell Receives a Special Award

It’s been a busy day today as this morning I was delighted to welcome Commodore Coulson, Commander of the Devonport Naval Base, to school.

Commodore Coulson joined students at one of our regular armed forces family breakfasts and, as a surprise, presented a special Naval Base commendation to Mr Mitchell who has organised and led the breakfasts for several years.

He said, “It’s a real pleasure to present this commendation today. Being a Service parent away from your children is often difficult but it is just as challenging for the parents and children left at home. I have seen at first hand the contribution that Mr Mitchell makes to the welfare of Service children. Knowing there is someone looking out for their welfare is a huge help. This commendation is just a small way to say a very big thank you on behalf of Service children and parents at DHSB".

Around 100 DHSB students have a close family member who is currently serving or who has recently served in the Armed Forces and the breakfasts, arranged each half term by Ms Taylor our Family Support Advisor, are a great way to make connections and provide support for the students.

The breakfasts are informal and provide an oppotunity for Mr Mitchell to talk to the students, welcome any newcomers and ask if anyone has a parent who is away at the moment. He usually includes a quiz and other activities that will bond the group and get students talking with others in the same situation.

This is light touch and is offered over and above the pastoral support provided by the school to all our students.

Our service family students value the support that Mr Mitchell gives; many who have moved through the school have commented that they appreciated the guidance that he offered during their time, and always knew that if they needed anything then he wouldn’t hesitate to help.

Very well done Mr Mitchell!

School Development Plan

This week I am pleased to publish our termly update on the progress we’re making towards our school development plan priorities.

The update covers the following areas and is available at the link below.

  • Students achieve the highest academic standards

  • All staff seek to become even better

  • Leadership at all levels

  • Collaboration and community

  • Creative & entrepreneurial spirit

Celebration Assemblies

On Wednesday our Heads of Year delivered our termly celebration assemblies. This was an opportunity to recognise and celebrate outstanding behaviour, committed and attendance.

Each form group also had a student of the term, who were all given an Easter Egg to recognise their efforts.

Mr Manley said,"There was a wonderful atmosphere and it was great to see so many smiling faces".

Excellent Work

This week Mr Redfern has shared a piece of work from Charlie McKeever 12SDO.

Charlie wrote a short magazine article on corporate social responsibility and ethical business practices as a piece of classwork.

Mr Redfern said, “This is a taut and succinct piece of writing that gets to the point”.

Physics News

Well done to members of the DHSB Physics Society pictured here receiving their certificates for the British Physics Olympiad Senior Physics Challenge.

The challenge involved opting to sit an additional exam of challenging multi-step problems in physics.

Our Physics Ambassadors led preparation sessions during recent Physics Society meetings and 6,900 of the country's best Year 12 physics students entered the competition.

Dr Colvile said, “Tom Dobby's Gold Award places him in the top 9%, while Ronald Buckingham's Silver Award places him in the top 19%. The next stage in the competition is round one of the team selection for the International Physics Olympiad which is taken by Year 13 students in November”.

Congratulations to all taking part.

Wildflower Seeds

We’re grateful to Pollenize CIC who successfully raised £75,000 to equip every school child in the city with a packet of wildflower seeds.

Our seed packets were delivered to school this week and were distributed to students in tutorial time on Wednesday.

We’re also hoping to sow a few seeds around the school site which will not only grow into beautiful flowers but also attract more bees and other wildlife.

This link gives more information about the project, activities during the Easter holidays and how best to plant the seeds.

Ten Tors Training

Our teams undertook their first of two weekend training exercises this week. Fundamentally this was about mirroring the event itself in terms of base camp routine and a slightly earlier reveille followed by a long second day in terms of banking a few last miles.

Teams arrived in good time on day one to set up their tents and prepare an evening meal before a small amount of snow fell on the ground.

Temperatures during the evening plummeted to a rather chilly -5 degrees in still air making it baltic by anyone’s standards.

By morning the ground was white and everything including the tents was frozen.

The conditions really tested some of the teams whilst others rose to the challenge and were all packed away, fed and hydrated in just over an hour.

With just one more training weekend to go everything is starting to feel very real.

The 35 mile team are first to arrive at base camp

Teams head north towards Nuns Cross Farm

PSHEE Activities

Well we made it to the end of term just about intact; Covid, weather and other catastrophes notwithstanding, writes Ms Moreton.

In this final week of term, as well as the usual lesson details, I want to tell you about a group called Devonport Against Sexual Harassment (DASH) which was set up earlier this term by myself, Mr Manley and Ms Wilkinson working with DHSG and PHSG, the two girls' grammar schools in Plymouth.

We set up the working group, initially between our three schools, to investigate how we can best support students to have a full understanding of sexual harassment and its effect on others. Also, to inform students of their rights and responsibilities in relation to sexual harassment and how to access support for themselves and others who may become victims of sexual crimes, and finally to develop appropriate resources and activities for use in school.

The working group consists of school staff and students from each school.

We began with an anonymous questionnaire which was sent to all students in all three schools, and each school has discussed the results with their group of volunteer students, and begun to collate results across all three.

We are now hoping, over the summer term, to develop lesson resources to fulfil the aims above, working closely with the student groups. A short film is the initial idea, with some extra follow on discussion activities to use in class. This topic is very much in the news of late, and the students are keen to be involved in a practical step forward. I will keep you advised of future developments.

The Year 7 tutorial lesson this week was all about managing money, again very much in the news at the moment, looking at different ways of making a monetary transaction, and the pros and cons of each.

Year 8 students began to complete a STEPs booklet which has aims to ‘develop yourself’ through careers, employability and enterprise education. Also to learn about careers and the world of work and finally plan for the future using career management, employability and enterprise skills. They will have a chance to do more of this next term.

Year 9 students were carrying out careers research as well, utilising a new site called eCLIP which we have recently purchased and students in Year 10 and Year 11 were in the Sports Hall, listening to a group of around a dozen fairly recent alumni each speaking in turn about what they have done since leaving DHSB, and hopefully enthusing their audience with some new ideas!

I hope you will all have time to enjoy relaxation, family, flowers or wildlife over the break, and return refreshed for the summer term on Monday 25 April.

Ms Moreton

Sixth Form Enrichment and Tutorial

Today students were invited to attend the alumni event organised by Ms Moreton, along with students in Year 10 and Year 11.

These are some of the messages shared this morning:-

  • Know you're lucky

  • Network with others (people know people)

  • Fail and learn from failure

  • Appreciate what you're offered

  • It's never too late

  • Embrace decision making

  • Get a part time job while you are at school

  • Create goals bu be willing to change them

  • Enjoy these years of your life with your friends

  • Unexpected things happen and these setbacks generally change your life for the better because you adapt!

  • Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.(attributed to Winston Churchill)

  • Invest in people with your time. You are genuinely giving this as time is something you can't take back

Daniel Steel then gave our KS5 students some fascinating insights into a career developed overseas and working as a multilingual civil servant. Daniel is currently working more locally as a Northern Ireland lead for resettlement of Afghan Refugees. Students were pleased to learn more about his experiences of working in Egypt Colombia, Afghanistan and London.

This week we also celebrated the community-minded and commitment to work-related learning achievements of individual students in a relaxed and friendly Easter tutorial for the end of term.

Sports Update


Another first place for DHSB says Mr Campbell. This time for our Year 7 dodgeball side who worked brilliantly as a team throughout this week’s Plymouth School Sports Partnership central venue competition this week.

Well done to the team and a big thank you to our two young ambassadors for supporting the event.

Devon Cup Football

Well done to our Year 7 team who reached the semi-final stage of the Devon Cup.

However, Mr Carpenter confirmed the team’s great cup run is unfortunately over after losing the match against Torquay Boys.

Congratulations are due to the Year 10 team who are through to the Devon Cup final after winning their game against Queen Elizabeth School 2 - 1.

Year 7 Rugby

We hosted the Year 7 central venue competition at DHSB this week. We didn't win our matches but the team was pleased to take part.


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