This week has been dominated by our school show – School of Rock. For those unfamiliar with the show, it’s a rock musical based on the 2003 film of the same name. The musical follows Dewey Finn, an out-of-work rock singer and guitarist (played by our very own Mr Crawford) who pretends to be a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. After identifying the musical talent in his students, Dewey forms a band of fifth-graders, in an attempt to win an upcoming Battle of the Bands contest.
The show ran all week, starting with a matinee for primary schools on Monday, followed by the evening shows Tuesday-Friday. As we come to expect with ‘Chick Production’, the show was incredible. Our students were amazing and it was easily as good as anything you would see at the Theatre Royal. A massive thank you goes to Mr Chick (for his expert direction), Mrs Lowe (for musical leadership excellence), Mr Wookey (set design), Mr Crawford (our in-house Jack Black), our cast of highly-talented students, our exceptional student musicians and our backstage crew (including the outstanding technical skills of Mr Hill and Mr Norsworthy). Well done to everyone involved – I’m so proud of you all.
Our ‘Restart a Heart’ campaign took place all week during PE lessons. Over the course of the week, approx. 1400 students gained the confidence to use CPR and developed the skills to potentially save a life. In their follow-up PE lesson, students engaged in fitness activities, including jump rope challenges. This initiative was planned after learning some quite scary national statistics:
- 30,000 cardiac arrests happen each year and around 80% of those occur in the home.
- Only 1 in 10 will survive compared to 1 in 4 in countries that teach CPR within the curriculum.
- A huge contributing factor is that more than 50% of bystanders fail to intervene when they witness a cardiac arrest, mainly because they fear they will make things worse or that they don’t know what to do.
Our students embraced the challenge with real enthusiasm and the week was a big success. I would like to thank Mrs Tyrrell for making this important opportunity happen.
As part of the campaign, we are helping to raise money for the British Heart Foundation and have set up a JustGiving page. Should you wish to make a small donation to this good cause, you can do so HERE
Alternatively, you can Text PLAZ99 with the amount you would like to give e.g. £1, £2, £5, £10 to 70070
We received a bit more good news to start this week off. The Sunday Times have just published their Schools Guide 2018. It focuses on the 2000 highest performing schools in the country. They have various categories within the guide. Plymstock School has been named in the list of the ‘500 Best State Secondary Schools’ in the country. It’s just another acknowledgement of the hard work, passion and enthusiasm of our school community. Well done everyone.
Our Year 13 Sociology students have just carried out their very own mock court case, as part of their A Level course. Jerome Clench volunteered to be the judge (he even fashioned himself a costume!). Carys Bygrave and Leoni Massey-Clamp took on the roles of the forthright barristers, and showed some VERY persuasive arguing skills. Readers will be pleased to know that the jury took the side of the underdog and Judge Clench awarded Farmer ‘Steve Walsh’ Brown £500,000 in damages.
Last Friday, nine of our Post-16 students accompanied by Mr Sprenkel, went to Ivybridge Community College to take part in “The Big Debate”. The event took the form of BBC’s Question time. Students were invited to submit questions in advance to a panel of guests that included: Gary Streeter MP, Chris Barry GP, Sarah Allen from the NEU, Chris Brown (Sports Coach & Teacher) and Chris Martin (Prison Governor).
All of the questions submitted by our students were selected for inclusion on the day and ranged from “Given the crisis of funding in the NHS and the fact that hospice care is funded through charitable donations, does it not reinforce the case to legalise voluntary euthanasia for the terminally ill?” to “Given that our ‘tough on crime’ approach clearly does not reduce re-offending, should we not opt for a less stringent approach within our prison system and move towards a more caring approach such as that adopted by Norway, where their re-offending rate is substantially lower compared to this country and where their attitude is ‘the only punishment is the loss of liberty and nothing else’?”
In true ‘Question Time’ fashion, there was some robust questioning and challenges both to, and from, the panellists. Gary Streeter, pictured with our students, faced some particularly dogged questioning on Brexit and the need to reduce the voting age to 16. Given the way that our students performed, they have provided strong evidence to support the fact that they are fully equipped to take part in the electoral process.
Our student representatives were Leoni Massey-Clamp, Jade Hamilton, Niall Rickwood, Rachel Seekings, Nick Rutsito, Katie Bennett, Aidan Sweet, Jaz Azzopardi and Becky Keane
Also on Friday last week, Mrs Johns, Mrs Harvey and Ms Rickard took a group of Year 9 girls to City College for the annual ‘Women in STEM’ event. This is a great day of activities, aimed to showcase the many different STEM career and further education opportunities available to young women. The day started with a talk from Dr Lorna Dallas. She is a safety engineer for Babcock, working on the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarines. Her talk highlighted the many different paths you can take into the STEM world, the opportunities for meeting people, earning money and travelling the world. Dr Dallas really highlighted the fact that STEM is everywhere and almost all career paths would have an aspect of STEM, if you ever pose the question ‘Why?’.
A number of schools from across the South West were invited to the event, and there were many different activities to try during the day. Our students started by creating algorithms for ‘Spheros’ (think BB8 in Star Wars) and getting them to move across a map on the floor. They then tried their hand at some more vocational STEM tasks; by wiring ship’s navigation lights in the electrician workshops and by building pyramids in the brick laying workshop. Both of these are not normally seen as stereotypical ‘female’ career options, but it was great to see girls leading as instructors and our students certainly got stuck in!
The final activity was looking at the Media courses available, which perhaps wouldn’t normally be considered as STEM. However, there are plenty of opportunities to ask ‘why’, so they definitely are. Our students learnt about green screen filming, photography and using media computer packages to edit filming. Look out for some video clips soon of an ‘Ellie cat’ and ‘The running man challenge’.
All the students got really involved in everything that was offered. It was a great insight into the world of STEM and it opened their eyes to the many different opportunities available to them. Thanks for getting so involved girls, and a big thank you to the staff that organised and supported the trip.
In Ms Birchnall’s Year 8 Science class, the students have been discovering that electrical wiring is a complicated business. They underwent a process of discovery, linking current to voltage and deducing what happens when the voltage or the number of components in a series circuit is increased. They all declared that they preferred the computer app version of practical electrics (No fiddly wires to contend with!).
It’s time for our amazing students of the week. First up is Aaron Lockwood who is our Year 7 winner this week. He has been nominated for his amazing commitment to learning and achieving a massive House Point total. Well done Aaron.
Year 8 student of the week is Jess Finch. She was nominated by her tutor for donating a huge number of items for her tutor group Christmas hamper. The hamper will be delivered over the coming week to an elderly member of our local community.
Our Year 9 winner this week is Wiktor Fedorczyk. He is a great all-round Plymstock School student. He works hard and is cheerful, positive and polite in his manner. He can always be seen with a big smile on his face around the school.
Ethan Brogan is our Year 10 student of the week. Ethan has really impressed staff with his positive attitude in class. He is even helping others at lunch time with Maths, when they are having difficulties. Well done Ethan.
Lucy Pitt is our Year 11 student of the week. Lucy has been nominated for her commitment and teamwork to the Year 11 netball team, as well as her dedication to her studies. One example was last Tuesday, where she spent the day playing netball for the school and then returned at the end of the day to attend an extra Maths lesson. Keep up the great work Lucy.
Finally, our Post-16 student of the week is Jess Cooper, who has just achieved a distinction for her Grade 8 Musical Theatre (singing) Exam. Well done Jess – an incredible achievement.