Happy New Year everyone and welcome back to start of 2018. I hope that everyone had a great Christmas. Last week saw our students and staff return to Plymstock. The early start on the Wednesday morning was a bit of a shock to the system for many, but people quickly adapted. Our thoughts are with our Year 11 students came straight in to their GCSE mock examinations! This lasts for two weeks and gives the students a realistic experience of what to expect from May onwards when they take the real thing. The students were brilliant and have approached the mocks with both focus and determination.
Just before Christmas we saw the completion of our new all-weather pitch that replaced the ageing ‘Bitmac’ area. I think it looks fantastic and the students who have already had the opportunity to use it, have given it a big thumbs up.
At the end of the autumn term we held our termly House Point Awards. Throughout the term students can earn House Points for a wide variety of reasons including hard work, effort, great behaviour, attendance etc… The House Points are then added up and the results divide into three categories. The first is the overall tutor group winners for each year group. The second is at an individual level and the third is at overall House level. I am pleased to announce the following winners…
The tutor group winners were:
- Year 7: L7KJT (Mrs Tyrrell’s group)
- Year 8: C8GBH (Mr Hughes’ group)
- Year 9: L9OHT (Mr Hurd-Thomas’ group)
- Year 10: S10KEB (Mrs Blundy’s group)
- Year 11: A11TJW (Mrs Wilkins’ group)
The individual winners accumulating the most House Points were:
- Year 7: Eve Moisob
- Year 8: David Kondrat
- Year 9: Fiene Kalski
- Year 10: Luke Hodge
- Year 11: Zara Luxford
These great students are also our well deserved students of the week, who are pictured below.
Finally, the Houses finished in the following order:
- Lanhydrock House
- Saltram House
- Antony House
- Cotehele House
- Buckland House
A big well done to everyone and a huge thanks to Mrs Lowe for expertly organising everything.
At the end of term our Year 8 boys football team pulled off a fantastic victory in the Plymouth Schools Cup, against a Devonport High School for Boys side who they had previously lost to 6-4, in a thrilling encounter at the start of the year. In another tightly knit contest it was 0-0 at the break, but Plymstock came out for the second half on the front foot and got their just rewards when a fantastic strike from distance by Tom Elliot, caught out the goalkeeper and nestled into the bottom left corner of the net. With Plymstock looking to see out the result, there was an unfortunate turn of events when a own goal put the score at 1-1, with just five minutes to go. With both teams destined for extra-time and a dreaded penalty shoot-out, it was Plymstock who grabbed the glory with a late Sam Williamson header from close range, which triggered mad celebrations from the players (and manager Mr Farrant), securing the 2-1 win which ensured Plymstock to progress into the second round!
Well done boys – an excellent result.
Our Year 9 Life Education students have been developing their employability skills by working in groups on an Enterprise Challenge. They have to design and pitch an educational toy ‘Apprentice Style’. The students have been learning about the skills and qualities they need to work collaboratively and how this translates into the workplace.
The first photo below shows Evie, Amelie, Pippa and Eleanor. This group took the already popular foam bath letters and linked them to a bubble bath. ‘Bubble Learning’ is an interactive bath learning quiz where questions are set on the bubble bath label and the child has to spell out the answers in the foam letters developing literacy and conceptual knowledge. Their presentation was articulate and they considered every aspect of the design even producing a prototype. They also developed ideas for a range of add-ons including a Christmas, Easter and Summer edition of the bubble bath. An excellent pitch reflecting the hard work of a motivated team.
The second photo is of Beth, Kate and Charlotte. Their product was called the ‘Learning Box’. Product ‘eco-credentials’ include the box being made from recycled wood and painted with blackboard paint. Inside the box are a set of question cards. The player writes the answer on the outside of the box. There are opportunities for product ‘add-ons’ with additional sets of cards available with increasingly challenging questions, to further develop literacy and numeracy skills. A well organised product launch.
The final photo is of Dylan, Tom, Matt and Harry. Their product was called ‘Maths Cards’ which is a ‘quick fire’ Maths quiz, where you turn over a card and slam your hand down on the card to answer the question. The more questions you get right, the more points you score. This was a very simple but effective idea with ‘easy to follow’ rules and had the option to develop more ‘product add ons’. The poster clearly shows that Maths at Plymstock School is outstanding!
Well done everyone – great stuff.
Our Year 8 students have been learning some ‘hair raising’ stuff this week in Science – static electricity! The students had the chance to use the Van der Graaf Generator and they learnt why your hair stands on end if you rub a balloon against it, and how it ‘magically’ sticks to a wall. They are now fully equipped to explain to people when shopping in Morrison’s – why trollies sometimes give the customers static shocks!
A big well done goes to three students in Year 8 – Ed Hale, Tomas Baker and Joe Taylor, who have all been selected to play cricket for West Devon. A great achievement.
Congratulations go to one of our ex-students, Heather Knight (Captain of the England Women’s Cricket Team), who was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List, for her services to Cricket.
Heather said “When I was a young girl playing cricket for my brother’s team in Plymouth I couldn’t have imagined that one day I would get an honour for captaining my country to a successful World Cup. It just shows what’s possible, and hopefully young girls pursuing sport today will see that it can take you places. It would be amazing if this honour made one girl think that she fancies picking up a cricket bat”
Well done Heather – we couldn’t be prouder of you.
Another of our ex-students has also been up to fantastic things. Jay Holton has been participating in the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) Programme, supporting a project in Nepal. Here’s an account from Jay…
“With Christmas over and the New Year started, members of the Q11 Kavrepalanchowk Education Project, have been steadily creating, improving and applying their multitude of project ideas, plans and aims in the hope of bettering the quality of education, environment and facilities for both students and teachers alike. From hosting a careers development course and CV writing presentation day in Kushadevi High School that yielded great results and feedback, to the cleaning and organisation of the library in Bhalchandra Secondary School. New rubbish bins have been put in place at Shanti Niketan Secondary School with the help of the students and other action learners. A new, healthy habit of waste collection and removal for the school and overall community has begun.
Bihapor Lower Secondary School have seen a vast number of new clubs come to fruition from drama, football and choir. The students have shown great enthusiasm for the progress of each and every one. A football tournament was also held for boys and girls to participate in – a tournament that was incredibly successful, especially for Spain, who were the winners out of four teams including Germany, Brazil and England.
With work underway at every school, action learners and team leaders have their work cut out for them but they have been able to make a positive difference in their school placements, as well in themselves”
What a fantastic experience and It is great to see our students heading out into the world to make a difference.