This week saw our annual Reading Festival, where the whole school celebrates all things literary. Over the week, a wide variety of events take place, which started on Monday with our Year 7 reading celebration assembly. Led by our Literacy Leaders and Reading Mentors in Years 8-11, it was an opportunity to recognise students in Year 7 for their commitment to reading. A huge number of students received awards and were welcomed to the stage to receive their achievement badges, certificates and a get a well deserved round of applause.
On Tuesday we were lucky enough to be visited by author Marcus Sedgwick. Marcus is a British writer, illustrator and musician. He has published novels such as Floodland (winner of the Branford Boase Award in 2001) and The Dark Horse (shortlisted for The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2002). He is also the author of several picture books, and has illustrated a collection of myths and a book of folk tales for adults. He wrote the thrilling adventure tale Revolver as well. The first U.S. edition of his 2011 novel Midwinterblood won the 2014 Michael L. Printz Award from the American Library Association as the preceding year’s “best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit. Marcus spoke to our students for some time and really enthused them with his engaging manner. A huge thank you goes to Marcus for taking the time to come to Plymstock School.
Wednesday was our fantastic ‘Open Mic’ session in the library where staff and students gave book and poetry readings to an enthusiastic crowd of students.
Thursday saw our World Book Day celebrations. It was amazing to see so many staff and students make the effort to dress as their favourite literary characters. Harry Potter characters were very popular as usual and the library was decorated to represent Hogwarts. Our student support Hub coordinated their costumes to tie in with the novel ‘Holes’ I myself chose Ian Fleming’s character James Bond. I’m not sure I pulled it off though!
A massive thank you goes to all the staff and students that supported this week, but a special mention goes to Miss Hogben and the library team who really did go above and beyond.
During Monday lunchtime, Plymstock School students were treated to a music concert, courtesy of the school’s good working relationship with the Plymstock Chapel. The chapel’s Pastor, Mark Oliver, runs and supports our school’s Christian Union group and it was Mark who recently enabled our students to hear from Rev Colin Chambers, who was Nelson Mandela’s Pastor whilst he was imprisoned on Robben Island.
This time Mark facilitated a visit and performance by Josh Curnow. Those of you who watch Britain’s Got Talent will know who Josh is – he was a live semi-finalist on BGT 2016. His audition performance video is below (Green Day’s – Basket case). Josh came and performed live over the lunch break and over 200 students turned up to watch. It was an amazing performance and Josh’s voice is simply incredible. In addition to that, Josh ran a music lesson and an RS lesson for our students. A huge thank you goes to Josh but also to Mark and the school’s Christian Union group for making it happen.
On Friday and Saturday last week, a number of students were invited to spend some extra time with teachers for English, Maths and Science. The sessions aimed to improve students’ knowledge, exam technique and confidence going forward into the exam season. They were able to concentrate on key areas and work together in small groups. This meant that on Saturday, the students were able to have 2-1 tuition.
As reward for their hard work (in their own time), they were able to spend the afternoons enjoying the great outdoors! Late on Friday afternoon the group went to Plymbridge mountain biking. Something that both students and teachers hadn’t done for a while. On Saturday they went to Mount Batten and practised rock climbing and abseiling on the beach. They also had a ‘healthy’ take away pizza!
The two days were really beneficial for the students. It was a great opportunity to work outside of their comfort zones, but also know that there is a team of teachers there to offer support, both in the classroom and outside! I am sure they all found it useful and a positive experience.
A huge thank you goes to Mrs Johns, Miss Pelley and Mr Dale for giving up their time to make this all possible.
Last week the Year 7 netball team took part in the end of season tournament at the Life Centre against teams from across Plymouth schools. The whole team have shown great commitment all season which was reflected in their brilliant second place finish overall. As always they demonstrated great sports woman ship and team spirit during the competition. Well done girls.
You will recall several months ago that one of our English teachers, Dr Laura Williams recently had some of her work on medieval literature published in a national newspaper. Well, she has gone from strength to strength, and now she has made a significant discovery. It is a case that has intrigued historians, psychiatrists and theologians for the last 80 years, but Dr Williams has found what may be the oldest known attempt to diagnose Margery Kempe’s erratic religious behaviour. A recipe for medicinal sweets, written 600 years ago in the back of the medieval mystic’s memoir, has been deciphered by Dr Williams – and she is convinced that it reveals an attempt to prescribe a cure for Kempe’s notorious fits of devotion!
To read the article in the Guardian click HERE
Olly Cornish is our Year 7 student of the week. He recently attended the Devon Schools Table Tennis tournament competing in the Under 13s. I’m delighted to say that Olly actually won the competition, winning every single game he played. By winning this tournament he is now eligible to go to the nationals but unfortunately he has already been asked to participate in a table tennis tournament in Croatia at the same time. What an achievement. Well done Olly.
We have two Year 8 winners this week Ross Davidson and Abbie Copson. Both of these students have been nominated as they represented Plymstock School in the UK Maths Team Challenge. They did ever so well and believe me the word ‘challenge’ is very apt in this competition. Thank you both for flying the Plymstock School flag.
Our Year 9 winner is Joella Gowland, who has been selected to compete this weekend at the regional cheerleading competition and will then go on to compete in Cardiff during April. Well done Joella, we wish you all the best for the weekend and beyond.
This week’s Year 10 student of the week goes to Abbie Cluer for fantastically high commitment across her subjects and for being an all-round lovely person. Well done Abbie and keep up the great work.
The Year 11 winner this week is Courtney Park. She took part in a weekend revision course and was fully engaged from start to finish, with a highly positive attitude. The revision session also involved a spell of mountain biking and Courtney proved that if you fall off your bike – you always get straight back on!
Roxanne Marshall is our the Sixth Form student of the week. She has been awarded for the ‘Devon Tennis Young Volunteer of the Year’ Award for 2016. This award is in recognition of all of the voluntary work she has done at her tennis club – Hill Lane Tennis Club.
Some of the roles she has undertaken over the past three years include being an important part of the coaching team and taking on a lead role within the competition team. In addition, she undertook marketing roles such as producing the newsletter, updating the website and managing social media. Roxanne was nominated for the award by a club member for all her work for the club and she now goes through as a regional nominee as part of the Aegon British Tennis Awards. Well done Roxanne.
Parents often tell us that they have to root around in the bottom of school bags to find letters, consent forms for trips and reports.
I am pleased to say that we have a solution!
We have recently been trialling a new app that is designed to make communication between school and parents easier and faster. It will also allow parents better access to attendance data, reports and consent forms. Not only will it do all this, but it will also save money for both the school and parents, as it avoids charges for SMS as well as postage. We intend to start all school communication through this app at the beginning of the summer term and therefore need parents to have downloaded it onto their mobile devices before then (it is free!). Once you have downloaded the app and set up your user name and password, it takes 24 hours for your child’s data to appear. Details on the app are below and there is also a link on the school website.
If you are experiencing any problems or are unable to access the app, then please contact school reception.
Finally – Plymstock School has the great opportunity to take part in the Greenpower Formula 24 event. This event is where students in our Design and Technology Club, build and race an electric go kart in an endurance race, which in turn helps improve our students’ engineering, design and team working skills. To be able to do this, the group need to raise £900 to buy the basic kit, to which they will add their own bodywork for the first race of the season.
The group are engaged in various fundraising activities. In addition they have set up a GoFundMe page for donations. If anyone is interested in making a donation please click HERE