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9 December 2016

Everyone Succeeds

At the foot of this edition of my Blog is the regular half termly update on the progress we are making as a school towards our current priorities to ensure that we strive to achieve our strategic vision that ‘Everyone Succeeds

We have targeted the most significant challenges since September and have formed our School Development Plan.

Top News

However, our top news this week is about two very deserving students, Hugo Oh Graham and Isaac Hudson, who received the national Diana Award at a special ceremony in Cardiff yesterday.

Mr Manley, Mrs Marsh and Mrs Moore accompanied Hugo and Isaac.

Mr Manley said, “A truly memorable day recognising some incredible young people. Thank you to everyone involved”.



Congratulations also to Robert Liu who achieved 2016 UK Senior Maths Challenge Gold (4th in the school) in November and went through to the next round UK Senior Kangaroo, which he attended.

Robert says he is happy with the two senior Golds and proud that he achieved all UK Maths Challenge Golds (Junior, Intermediate, and Senior) by the age of 13.

Robert also competed at the recent Devon Junior Chess Championships where he achieved first place with a score of 5.5 in the U15 group of 30 players.


A Big Thank You

Thanks are due to Tom Cooper, the outgoing Peer Mentor leader, seen here welcoming James O’Connell & Alan Joshy who will be taking over after Speech Day.


Sports News


Congratulations to Josephine Spencer who was delighted with her performance at the Youth World Windsurfing Championships in in Limassol, Cyprus. Josie was placed sixth (U17 girls) and twentieth (overall girls) meeting her target of achieving a top 20 finish in her first RS:X international competition.

Racing - Day 1


The Year 7 football team is through to the next round of the Devon Cup after a thrilling 4 – 2 win after extra time.

They also won a match against Torbridge High 2 – 1 in the Plymouth competition with goals from Lewis Bees and Matthew Newton.


The Year 10 football team played their 11th game of the season on Wednesday also against Torbridge High. The game finished 6 – 1 to DHSB.

Mr Strang says the results for the season so far are played 11, won 8, drawn 1 and lost 1. Well done to all those involved.


Mr Manley says the DHSB ‘A’ team won 4 – 0 against Duchy College in the Devon Wednesday League this week.



Mr Manley reports the Year 11 Basketball team beat Plympton Academy 38 – 21 in the Plymouth League.

Future Events

12 December

Carol Service

14 December

Speech Day

16 December

Final day of term (school closing at 12.40 for students who have permission to leave the site)

Tuesday 3 January 2017

First day of term (A week)


Here is the half termly update on the progress we are making as a school towards our current priorities and to ensure that with strive to achieve our vision that ‘Everyone Succeeds

We have targeted the most significant challenges since September and have formed our School Development Priorities.

Priority 1: Students achieve the highest academic outcomes

Emphasis on ensuring all students are challenged and make excellent progress in their learning

‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit’ – Aristotle.

As a community we have been striving to develop a real culture of excellence as our main focus this year. All of us students and staff will aim towards our goal of ensuring that ‘Everyone Succeeds’.

To achieve excellence you have to have the right growth mind set and put in the effort to everything that you do. Our brilliant staff have been raising the bar once again and are raising their expectations of what students can achieve and looking at practical strategies to challenge them more on a daily basis so that they can enjoy and achieve more than ever before.

A good example of this is the art department who have been celebrating excellent work highlighting student art stars each week through twitter @Staffaburdon #dhsbartstars. We strongly believe that students should have a platform to show their work and achievements to a wider audience as creativity is fundamental to learning.


A whole-school focus on literacy and oracy

First of all we have been promoting reading since September with some exciting new initiatives, we have also set up the systems in place to collect data on what and how much students are reading through school. This will enable us to monitor and evaluate the impact of these new initiatives.

eBook Lending Facility

Students can now take out for free a large range of ebooks from our online platform called DHSB Wheelers including a large number of new books being added regularly.

16 by 16 and 18 by 18

We are promoting a range of books that we are encouraging all students to read by the ages of 16 and 18. The objective of this is to help students become more accomplished in reading classics and to extend and challenge their experience of books.

Join the Millionaires Club

Finally all students can enter a competition to join the Millionaires Club at DHSB which students can achieve once they have read 1 million words from books taken out through the Learning Commons.

Priority 2: All staff seek to become even better

Developing the pedagogy of teachers with regards to enhancing differentiation in the classroom

We have put a greater emphasis on providing more opportunities for Teachers to share good practice from their own classrooms with the rest of the school. Particularly encouraging more cross curricular links to help support individual teachers develop their own professional practice. This is just the beginning but we have already seen some excellent work developing between different groups of teachers that ultimately will have a positive impact back in their classrooms.

Priority 3: Leadership at all levels

Embedding and enhancing the extensive leadership opportunities for students.

Community Awards

The DHSB Community Award scheme for Years 7, 8 and 9 aims to help students prepare for the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and for completion of the Plymouth Employability Passport. Whilst working towards achieving a Community Award, valuable skills and experiences are also gained which help to develop life skills such as resilience and tolerance and also a growth mindset and ‘can do’ attitude.

The scheme was introduced to students in September and a number of students will be presented with their Bronze Award certificates in celebration assemblies at the end of term.

Students can gain awards by learning and practising a new skill, undertaking a new physical challenge or giving some time to volunteering in their local community. Once a number of hours have been accrued and logged in each area then an award can be claimed. Students with their tutors have dedicated time each fortnight to reflect on their experiences and share them, so inspiring others to try something new too.

Digital Leaders Continue to Innovate

Our Digital Leaders have once again had a busy term as they continue to grow and influence the way the school community integrates with technology. As you may be aware our student team led on the development of the new electronic school planner and also the new Homeworky app.

They continue to contribute to the wider digital community too as they have now begun the process of integrating the city wide Employability Passport which you will be familiar with to a digital platform.

Skype with Syria

Our Geography Department are working with UNRWA (United Nations Refugees and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees) on the My Voice My School project. My Voice My school focuses on the topic of quality education, one of the UN Global Goals. DHSB is connected with an UNWRA school in Homs, Syria. We will be having a series of skype calls whilst working on a project enabling student voice to develop and ensure all children have access to a quality education.

8W had their first skype call to Homs, Syria in November and as Homs and Aleppo have this week come under new air strike offensives our students have demonstrated their concerns for the students we are building a relationship with. We wait now until our next Skype in January, but will definitely be keeping them in our thoughts. We have only just started the project, but already the power of education has become irrefutable.


Priority 4: Collaboration and Community

Promote and embed British Values and the Prevent agenda

Since September we have seen the embedding of promoting the Prevent agenda, in addition to featuring throughout our PHSEE programme it is now also part of our curriculum in IT and RS at Key Stage 3 and 4.

All of our staff at school have completed further and a higher level training to identify signs of radicalisation and we are continuing to promote this topic with students.

To continue to safeguard our students we have integrated a new filtering and monitoring system for our IT in school which already has been effective in proactively dealing with minor issues.

Enable families to support their children through regular engagement events

We are delighted with the additional parental engagement events that have happened over the last term. For Year 11 we hosted our Strategies for Success evening to help prepare them practically and their mindset for the important year ahead and the next steps after that. In addition to this Mr Martin and Mrs Moreton have run a series of revision workshops for Year 11 students in the run up to our mock exams.


For Year 7 students and their families we have led a series of events in supporting literacy and numeracy and also supporting the wellbeing of Year 7 through our emotional logic sessions.

151127 Literacy2

Priority 5: Creative and Entrepreneurial Spirit

Continue to use the latest cutting edge technology creatively and innovatively influencing the wider educational community

Green Power Trust

Congratulations to DHSB Team Avanti who took part in the international F24 finals at the Rockingham Racing Circuit recently. The competition was organised by the Greenpower Trust. The team finished in a very credible joint 36th place and were awarded the trophy for Best Newcomer.


Devonport Market Hall

There have been some exciting developments with regards to the Devonport Market Hall in the last couple of weeks. Our DHSB Digital Leaders supported a VIP launch night at the Devonport Market Hall. As you may remember the Market Hall aims to be a new hub for innovation and technology. We will be partnering with Plymouth City Council, City College Plymouth, Real Ideas Organisation, and to develop a space where local businesses are able to rent out tech spaces, where they’re able to use state-of-the-art equipment and develop new products. Our Digital leaders hope that it will bring the digital community together.


In the last week we heard the great news that another £1 Million for the project had been secured and there was a surprise visit from the Minister of state for digital and culture, Matt Hancock MP who some of our students managed to meet.



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