On Saturday morning a group of students along with Mr Bellamy, Ms Pring, Mr Nicholls and Mr Walker, departed Plymstock School early to head to Twickenham, to watch England take on Samoa. Despite the long journey (and the usual mix of Haribo and Mr Bellamy’s favourite film – Top Gun), everyone was rewarded with a stunning display from England, who ran in seven tries to win 48-15. As we always experience – our students were brilliant and a real credit to the school. A huge thank you to the staff that supported this opportunity for our young people.
Also on Saturday, a group of Post-16 students went to Plymouth County Court (An improvement on last year, when the event was held in Bournemouth – so no 4:00am start and or minibus journey with Mr Sprenkel’s driving!!). Our students competed against three other schools from the South West: Plymouth High School for Girls, Woodroffe School and Truro & Penwith Academy Trust. The competition entailed students independently preparing for all roles within a county court hearing; the Usher, Court Clerk, Prosecution/Defence Barristers, Witnesses and Jurors.
The students had two cases to prepare for, which involved learning witness statements, court room procedures, opening/closing statements, and cross examination. The rules of the competition are that they have to do this with very little assistance from the staff involved. They did amazingly well, giving up hours of their time every week since September.
Although we didn’t go through to the final – in our eyes they are winners (cheesy I know!). Some of these students have never spoken in public before. None of the students acting as Barristers received legal training and had to prepare everything themselves – which was a true testament to their drive, dedication and enthusiasm. The Usher and Court Clerk were instrumental in ensuring the proceedings ran smoothly; they were polished and professional – if they made a mistake, the team would have lost points and the court could have descended into chaos!! The witnesses were fantastic – they had to learn their witness statements and know them inside and out, because they were interrogated on the witness stand and some schools’ barristers didn’t hold back and truly ‘cross’ examined them! Our one Juror was brilliant – she went off to listen to the other schools arguing (as she couldn’t stand with us, as we cannot have the Juror being accused of bias). She really got into her role and gained a key insight into the proceedings.
Mrs Littler, who went with the students and supported them through all the preparation, had a fantastic time working with these students and it ended on a real high note. We are incredibly proud of what they achieved – roll on next year!!
The students involved (who are also our Post-16 students of the week) were:
- Court clerk: Olivia Moran
- Usher: Jade Hamilton
- Prosecution Barrister: Ellis Arnold
- Prosecution Barrister: Naz Elm-Hamdi
- Defence Barrister; Luke Arnold
- Defence Barrister: Jaz Azzopardi
- Witnesses: Sarah Pearce, Kelsey Campbell, Zack Allen and Jasmine Salop
- Juror: Lolly Matthews
On Friday lunchtime, Mr Bellamy, Mr Steward and Mr Stubbs held a celebratory lunch for all the students who had represented the school in our rugby teams over the last year. It was a lovely atmosphere, full of good spirits, cheer and pasties! There was also a ‘Player of the Year’ Award given to one student in each year group. Our winners were:
- Year 7 – Josh Johnson
- Year 8 – Drew Burnett
- Year 9 – Harvey Larson
- Year 10 – Harvey Courtis
Mr Bellamy said the celebratory lunch was his best moment of the year. Well done to all the young people who have flown the Plymstock School flag this year. I’m sure further success will follow. A big thank you to Mr Bellamy, Mr Steward and Mr Wright for their support and coaching over the year.
Last week, our Year 12 Theatre Studies group performed the political satire ‘An Accidental Death of an Anarchist’ by the Italian playwright Dario Fo. Their task was to perform a 30 minute extract of the play in a Commedia dell’arte, non-naturalistic style, something completely different to anything they’ve attempted before. Mr Chick said, “Having performed this piece myself in the past, I can ensure you that this play is anything but easy”. The performance took place in the Drama studios in front of a group of Year 11 Drama students (and a few 6th form guests), who were all taken aback by the sheer energy and talent on show within the piece. Mr Chick wanted to pass on his congratulations to our Theatre Studies students for their hard work and commitment over the last two months. It really was a fantastic performance!
Next week we are going to trial a new initiative in PE to help create a nation of lifesavers. The aim is to teach everyone in Years 7-11, how to recognise a cardiac arrest and know how to administer CPR. At the same time we hope to raise awareness of the importance of heart health and raise a little money for the British Heart Foundation along the way.
Students will learn CPR in one of their PE lessons next week and receive a certificate and wrist band, if they can demonstrate successful technique. In their other PE lesson they will complete some jump rope challenges including: long rope, double dutch and French skipping. Students will be asked to donate money for the British Heart Foundation.
The week will be incredibly busy with approx. 70 students per hour being CPR trained!
As part of our GCSE Hospitality and Catering course, our Year 10 students were taken on a tour of View Pan Asia in Plymouth last week. This activity was designed to give the students a context to their learning, providing them with the opportunity to see a restaurant and speak to the staff about the catering industry. They also had the opportunity to see professional cooking, make their own dumplings and have lunch. They even got a chance to learn a bit of Chinese. The behaviour of our students was so good, we had several members of the public approach staff to comment positively.
On Wednesday lunchtime, a fundraiser was held in the Main Hall for the Children’s Hospital Transplant Team. This was organised by Emer Powell in Year 10. As many of you know, Emer recently represented England at the transplant games. As a receiver of two transplants, she is working hard to give back to the hospital and team that have supported her, by raising funds for the transplant games next year. Emer, along with her tutor group, held a tombola over Wednesday lunchtime, having managed to collect over 100 prizes. It was very well supported and £170 was raised. Well done Emer. We wish you the best of luck with your continued fundraising efforts.
Student of the week time and first up is our Year 7 winner. Ellie Froud completed a Santa Charity Paddle in freezing conditions over the weekend. Ellie is one of the most competent and qualified paddlers in her age group and led the pack. It wasn’t a race as such, as it was for St Luke’s Hospice, the Shekinah Mission and The Mountbatten Trust, but her willingness to support and encourage weaker paddlers, even those five times her age, was admirable! Well done Ellie.
The Year 8 winner this week is Maddison Clarke. This young lady has such a positive ‘can do’ attitude. Recently she has shown incredible amounts of resilience and is a real credit to our school. In addition, her commitment to extra curricular activities, such as the show, is exemplary.
We have two Year 9 students of the week – Denzil Brown and Jarrad Edwards-Rumble. Both boys have been nominated for showing true Plymstock community spirit. The boys had spotted one Year 7 student spending their lunchtime alone a few times over the last couple of weeks. They went straight to the Hub to let Mr Chivers know, so we could see the student, check everything was okay and support if needed. Thank you Denzil and Jarrod – that was really kind of you both.
Elliott Hearn is our Year 10 student of the week. Elliott has been nominated by Mrs Lowe for his contribution to the music for the school show. In Mrs Lowe’s own words “He has made a massive effort for the show and plays the guitar in the band like a rock god”. Well done Elliott.
Tom Jenkins is our Year 11 student of the week. Tom has been awarded this in recognition of the huge improvements he has made this year, in terms of attitude, behaviour and effort. Well done Tom – keep it up!
Finally – do not forget that our amazing school show starts next weeks. Tickets can still be purchased on Parent Pay. It promises to be a cracking performance and I for one, can’t wait.