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9 February 2024

"Huge congratulations to everyone in the the Creative Arts Department"

"WOW! A standing ovation on the first night for the DHSB production of Les Mis"

"An outstanding show"

"Such energy and enthusiasm from the extremely talented cast"

"Backstage and lighting deserve a special mention. And of course the orchestra, playing throughout"

"It was an absolutely fantastic performance"

These are just a few of the comments and plaudits received following the opening nights of our musical theatre production of Les Misérables.

A huge well done to all staff and students involved in the cast, crew, stage band and technical team. 

Tonight's show is sold out so please attend only if you have tickets!

There are a selection of photos from the show at the foot of today’s Head’s Blog.

Safer Internet Day

Safer Internet Day 2024 took place this week with celebrations and learning based around the theme ‘Inspiring change? Making a difference, managing influence and navigating change online’.

Safer Internet Day is the UK’s biggest celebration of online safety. Created in consultation with young people across the UK, this year Safer Internet Day will be focusing on change online, this includes covering:

  • Young people’s perspective on new and emerging technology

  • Using the internet to make change for the better

  • The changes young people want to see online

  • The things that can influence and change the way young people think, feel and act online and offline

As part of the day students looked at the new technologies available to them, what life would be like without the internet and were reminded how to seek help.

As parents and carers, it can often feel that we don’t understand what is happening with young people and the internet, so I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the e-safety hub we have for you - click here and here is a list of top tips from the Uk Safer Internet Center on how to keep your child safe online:

Inspire change by modelling how to be safe online

Just like in their offline lives, children need role models online too. Set clear and fair expectations about how the whole family should use the internet and technology, and demonstrate these yourself. A Family Agreement is a great way to start conversations and put your ideas down on paper, to refer back to later and adapt as your child and your family’s internet use changes.

Make a difference by having regular discussions about the online world

Having regular and open conversations with your child about their use of technology and the internet is the best way to stay up to date, not only with changes in the online world, but also with what they are doing and seeing online. Starting these conversations can sometimes feel daunting, but they can help you feel more informed and show your child that you are taking an interest in their online life. Not sure where to begin? Use the tips and conversations starters in our “Let’s Talk About Life Online” resource.

Manage influence by researching the content and games your child enjoys the most

Giving young people the opportunity to talk about their life online, and enjoying online content together, can be a great way to gain an insight into the content they are viewing. Our ‘Parents and Carers Resource Sheet’ is a great tool that you can use to research any websites, apps and games and find out more about specific content. I also use commonsensemedia.

Navigate change by knowing where to go for further support

If your child needs help, it’s important you know where to go for further support. Using the report and block buttons,   websites such as ‘Report Harmful Content’, and other safety tools is a great starting point. The students have these tools linked on their year group student portal.

Mrs Buckler

Student Ambassadors

One of the areas of student leadership we are most proud of here at DHSB is our wealth of enthusiastic and knowledgeable subject ambassadors who give their time and energy to support and enhance the learning of others.

We have ambassadors working within many departments, such as Chemistry, Maths, Computer Science, Business, Economics, Physics, RS, History, Geography, Biology, Media Studies, PE, Languages and Music.

Open Evenings

Largely these ambassadors are Year 12 students but some departments make exceptions and can invite younger or older students to represent their subject. There is a plethora of activities for which the ambassadors get involved with. The most visible for parents and visitors is their presence to support departments at open evenings and similar events. The insights they share with younger students who are considering either coming to DHSB or selecting their subject as an option is invaluable.

Revision Sessions

Revision sessions are also something our ambassadors routinely support younger students with, especially in the build up to the GCSEs.

We also have a number of societies being organised and delivered by our very capable subject ambassadors. The Physics Society, for example, runs Seminars, launches competitions, arranges visiting speakers and when their tenure is approaching its end, they recruit and select their successors. Other societies being led on a regular basis are Chemistry, Biology and Computer Science, lunchtimes devoted to developing and sharing the love and curiosity for their subject.

The last two years we have even sent some of our ambassadors to a local primary school to help deliver a new coaching initiative in Maths. Working within our local community and sharing their love of Maths has been powerful for all involved.

All in all, the ambassadorial spirit is thriving at DHSB.

Miss Cunningham

Spelling Bee

The DHSB Spelling Bee returned after a four year hiatus and the staff and students were treated to a fantastic spectacle of incredible spelling and truly gutsy performances.

Last week saw each tutor group hold a preliminary test to narrow it down to two entrants per tutor group and these students were performing live in front their entire year group today.

The atmosphere created by the audience was electric, both the loud and overwhelming applause when their peers spelt correctly and the quiet tension when a tricky word was being attempted. All of the words were difficult and the students did exceptionally well navigating their nerves and offering some really credible attempts, but there were some supreme spellers in this year's Bee.

The individual winners for the year groups were Isaac Manata 7P, Alfie Ford 8P, Zen Kanwar 9W and Max Phillips 10E.

Overall, when all the placings were also taken into consideration, the DHSB Spelling Bee Champions 2024 are Priestley!

A massive well done to all involved. I can't wait for the next one!

Miss Cunningham

Excellent Work

Mr Richards has shared these examples of excellent work by Year 11 students on the effects of war that are presented in their GCSE power and conflict anthology.

This work will stand the students in excellent stead for future tests.

Sparx Maths and Sparx Reader

Each week we celebrate our highest performers in both Sparx Maths and Sparx Reader, two of our core homework platforms. We are proud of all of our students who complete their homework each week to such a high standard but these six students deserve a special mention.

Well done!

Sixth Form Enrichment and Tutorial

In tutorial this week, Year 12 students continued their learning about Public Sexual Harassment. This session focused on how to tackle it and in particular the '5 Ds' of what to do in order to be an upstanding bystander if we witness sexual harassment in public: distract, delegate, document, delay, direct. 

Year 13 students had a session on understanding diversity and inclusion. They discussed the wealth of benefits of inclusion for society, individuals and companies and organisations as well as looking at case studies of discrimination and making choices about the best way to tackle each situation.

Mrs Briars-Delve

Student News

Congratulations to Daniel Salmon 9S and Freddie Blight 9S who both qualified for the Devon Schools Junior Boys cross country team and went on to race last weekend in the South West Schools Inter Counties Cross Country Championships at RNAS Merryfield.

There were seven counties competing so the Devon team did incredibly well against some stiff competition to come first in the South West region and win the Junior Boys South West Shield this year.

Very well done also to James Brinkworth 10W who has had a very successful Cornwall County Championships, he qualified for all 18 events. Over a number of weekends he has achieved eight personal best times, 35 medals and a top three finish in all 18 events - an amazing achievement.

James is the Cornish county age group champion in 1500 Free, 800 Free, 400 Free, 200 Free, 200 Breast, 100 Breast, 200 Back, 100 Back, 200 Fly and 400 IM.

His next big race is in March where he will be competing over four days at the Welsh nationals.

Chess Club News

Well done to our two chess teams who competed in a tournament at Torquay Boys Grammar School. The U13s came third achieving a bronze medal. Our second team played in the U16s competition battling it out against older opponents, achieving wins against different schools. 

Well done!

Sports Update

Table Tennis

Well done to our U16 team who progressed through to the regional heats in Bristol after playing well at their local competition last weekend.


Congratulations to our U13 hockey team for their fifth place finish at the County Hockey Finals held at Colyton Grammar School on Wednesday.

Mr Carpenter said, “Well done to all and thanks to Sixth Form students Dan and Tom for their support”.


The Year 8 football team made it into the semi-final of the Devon Cup following a convincing victory against Coombeshead School on Thursday afternoon. The goals for the school were scored by Freddie Edwards, Sam Gibbs and Alfie Ford.

Mr Strang said, "The squad performed very well in difficult weather conditions and are to be commended on their performance. The semi-final will be played after half term".

The Year 11 football team will play the winners of Whitgift v Hurstmere away in the quarter-finals of the School Football U16 National Cup.

Well done to our 1st XI who won their game against Lipson 7 - 1 on Wednesday afternoon.

Les Misérables

Photo credits - Thomas Jane 11E

And finally

And finally this week, we have been asked to advertise the Beyond Face Youth Company performances of Grow Up! at the Barbican Theatre at half term.

Grow Up! will be Beyond Face Youth Company’s second full production following the success of their musical Where’s Abi? By Titilola Dawudu in 2017. Beyond Face Youth Company were invited by Company Three to join them, Mortal Fools and Prime Theatre to use the same starting point to create a full length play. The source was the words ‘Grow Up’. Teenagers are told to do this all the time, but are rarely given any space to do so – what do they think of this and how do they feel about growing up in the world?

More information and ticket sales can be found at this link.


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