Last week saw our annual whole-school sponsored walk take place. It is a gruelling 10-mile loop walk from Plymstock School to Saltram House and back again – taking in hills, woods, mud and some stunning views. After all the sunshine we’ve had in the last few weeks it was a shame that we started the day overcast and with light drizzle. However, the damp conditions did not negatively impact on everyone’s spirit and there was somewhat of a carnival atmosphere as students and staff departed the school.
Whilst we were stopped for lunch at Saltram House, we were all treated to a ‘dance off’, where several students (and a few staff – mentioning no names Mr Pringle!) showed off their breakdancing skills. We then headed back to school in slightly drier conditions and met for a celebration on the school fields with a BBQ, ice cream van and games.
It was great to see so many students and staff taking part in the event together. I would say there are few schools out there that could take over 1000 young people out of school simultaneously for an experience like this. The National Trust were full of compliments about the conduct of our students when we handed the keys back at the end of the day.
A huge thank you goes out to everyone involved, especially those that were involved in the organisation and running of such a large-scale event behind the scenes.
This week saw our new Year 7 students join us on Tuesday and Thursday for their induction days. Both days saw the students arrive with excitement and a few nerves. The idea of the induction days is to give the Year 6 students a taste of secondary school, experience some lessons, familiarise themselves with the school site and importantly ask any questions or calm any worries. The end of each day was spent engaged in team building activities to help students meet people from other schools. The two days were a real success and we are looking forward to welcoming them into the Plymstock School family from September. In addition to that, two of our current Year 7 students, Marley Tozer and Charlie Pickard-Morrish, chose to make a welcome poster to greet the new students. Pictured below is Marley with the poster. You really can’t help but love our students.
On Tuesday a small group of Year 7 students were involved in the shooting of a promotional video for Plymstock School. The video is being produced by one of our talented parents and documents the experiences of students who joined us in September 2016. The film includes classroom scenes as well as individual student interviews and will debut at our September Year 5/6 Open Evening (Tuesday 12 September at 6:30pm). Perhaps most exciting of all it includes some spectacular drone footage of the school shot on Tuesday morning. Below is one of the high resolution photos taken from the drone.
Towards the end of last week students at Plymstock School, once again, took part in their very own teenage book award…’HOGWARDS’ (to find a book like ‘Harry Potter’). The nominations by fellow students came out last November (2016) and since then 28 students from Year 7, 8, 9 and 10 have been reading and reviewing up to 25 books. The students then spent a whole day deciding which book was worthy of the Best Teenage Book of 2017.
The students were fantastic, and the day, although very exhausting, was a resounding success; a reflection of the total dedication and hard work these students have put into this gruelling, yet rewarding, process. One by one the books were judged, as students took it in turns to ‘champion’ their favourite books or argue to have a book removed from the running. All the students from Years 7 to 10 involved themselves in the discussions, overwhelming us with their incredible and thoughtful insights and amazing impassioned speeches as they desperately fought for their books
Eventually, after five hours of non-stop judging, the students finally came to their decision.
The winner of the Plymstock School ‘HOGWARDS’ is…Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon. It is the debut young adult novel by American author Nicola Yoon. The novel centers on 18-year-old Madeline Whittier, who has severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), also known as ‘bubble baby disease’. Due to her condition, Madeline is stuck inside her house in Los Angeles, where she lives with her mother, a physician who takes care of her. The book follows her story.
The students involved were: Frances Airton (Yr 9), Tabitha Booth (Yr 9), Abi Chapman (Yr 8), Grace Cowie (Yr 8), Dedan Benjamin (Yr 7), Zoe Gould (Yr 9), Amber Gawron (Yr 7), Alicja Gugula (Yr 7), Ed Hale (Yr 7), Will Hardiman (Yr 8), Josh Kelly (Yr 9), Caitlin Lewis (Yr 7), Charlotte Mawe (Yr 8), Isabelle McAuliffe (Yr 8), David Moisob (Yr 8), Eleanor Moyse (Yr 8), Jilly-Jean Newton –Westlake (Yr 9), Bryony Palmer (Yr 10), Joshua Pasmore (Yr 7), Kate Phillips (Yr 8), Max Port (Yr 7), Rhys Prevost (Yr 7), Sophie Pridham (Yr 7), Megan Rowe (Yr 8), Sam Shalliker (Yr 9), Evie Shell (Yr 8), Kim Shipp (Yr 8) and Ella Warwick (Yr 10). Well done to all of you.
I would also like to thank the staff that supported and organised the event – Miss Hogben, Mrs Sherwood, Mrs Elliott and Mr Dale.
Aidan Heslop in Year 10 returned home late on Monday night from Bergen, Norway, having competed in the Junior European Diving Championships and we are proud to say that he brought a medal home with him too! Aidan is now officially the 3rd best Platform Diver in Europe for his age group, after taking the Bronze medal. This success takes him one step closer to an invite to the Commonwealth Games. Well done Aidan – a great achievement.
Congratulations this week also go to one of our Year 9 students, Connor Brewer. Over the weekend Connor completed the Dartmoor Classic and absolutely smashed his previous time – completing it in 1 hour 57 minutes and achieving a gold medal. The event is real test of endurance for a cyclist and we are incredibly proud of his achievement. Well done Connor.
We have two Post-16 students of the week – Rhys Heslop and Leoni Massey-Clamp. Both students have just competed in the city-wide final of the ‘You’re Hired’ competition. ‘You’re Hired’ is a business challenge, issued to 17 year olds across Plymouth by a number of local, national and international businesses. It challenges them to solve commercial problems in a creative and strategic manner. ‘You’re Hired’ aims to engage all of the secondary schools in Plymouth each year in a bid to find ‘Plymouth’s Most Employable 17 Year Old’, along with many other awards. The Final takes place over two very intense days in the summer. Finalists are divided into teams again and have to work together to solve a technically demanding challenge.
Rhys undertook the challenge of this event with great determination, as not only did he compete in the two day final but he also sat his Maths and Further Maths AS exams in the preceding weeks but also his final Further Maths exam on the Friday morning of the final day of the competition! He completed his final exam and went straight to the university to compete, which showed really character and perseverance. Even though he didn’t win he’s an absolute star for giving it his all.
Leonie did exceptionally well and came second overall in the whole competition – a phenomenal achievement.
Well done to both of you – worthy winners this week.
Our Year 10 student of the week is Ella Warwick who through her hard work and dedication, has won awards in Drama, Geography, EPIC, reading and achieving 100% attendance. An incredible achievement and a real reflection on her character. Ella – you’re a star – well done.
We are lucky enough to have five Year 9 students of the week today. Last week Plymstock School, led by Ms Graham, held a Maths, English and Science day for a number of Year 5 students from local primary schools. The day went incredibly well and the students had a great time. Supporting the event were five fantastic Year 9 students, who took care of the students throughout the day. They were superb ambassadors for the school. This week’s winners are: Sophie Brown, Jacob Barry, Louis Bernard, Maddy Dodd and Alex Dodimead.
For Year 8 this week our winner is the lovely Fiene Kalski (right in the photo). For the last couple of weeks we have had a wonderful young lady attending Plymstock School from Germany called Elly (left in the photo), so she can experience life in a British School. Fiene has supported our guest and helped her settle in brilliantly. Thank you Fiene – you’ve been great.
Finally, we have four Year 7 students of the week. Our winners are: Makenzie Stevens, Kinga Kudzia, Connell Algar and Thomas Elliott. All four students stood up in front of the Year 6 students on the two induction days and told them all about their experiences so far at Plymstock School. They did a great job and as with so many of our students, they were amazing ambassadors for the school.