This week saw the provisional 2017 School League Tables published. Whilst personally I am not a particular advocate for school ranking systems, we were obviously very pleased to see how well Plymstock School performed both in the local and national context. Our progress score (the current ‘headline performance measure’ for schools) was the highest in the city for non-selective schools and nationally was in the top 13% of all schools (when all 6480 schools are ranked in order of Progress 8!)
This is a real testament to the hard work, dedication and commitment of our students, teachers and parents. Well done to everyone. It was a team effort and together we will now be pushing for the top 10% next year!
Last week our Year 10 Art students went on our annual visit to Exeter. It was a brilliant day and a huge pleasure for our staff to be with such a lovely group of our students. They visited three different places – the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM), where we were lucky enough to get to see the incredible BP Portrait Awards; the Exeter Phoenix Arts Centre, where they saw an interesting show of Contemporary Art (including a video of a man repeatedly slipping on an enormous banana skin!), and finally the awe inspiring vastness of Exeter Cathedral.
The students made drawings and photographs at all three locations, practising the important art skills of observing and recording. The whole Plymstock Art team came along and spent the day supportng the students. Mr Hurd-Thomas (Our Head of Art, Craft and Design) said “I ended the trip feeling very lucky to work with and teach such fantastic people”.
Our Year 8 History students have been studying the English Civil War and were looking at the local impact at that time. The Battle of Freedom Fields saw the King’s forces attempt to seize Plymouth from Parliament and fail. Students were asked to complete a creative project demonstrating their learning. The outcome was really impressive. Here are a few students showing off their work.
The UK Youth Parliament has been canvassing students across the country as part of the ‘Make Your Mark’ campaign to decide what issues they should campaign on. There were nine options overall, ranging from ‘votes at 16’ to ‘supporting young carers.’ Plymstock students have had the opportunity to vote on what issue they would like the UK Youth Parliament to focus on. The most popular area that our students thought the UK Youth Parliament should campaign on, was ‘making transport cheaper, better and more accessible.’ It’s great to see students exercising their right to vote and learning about the key British value of democracy.
On Wednesday some of our Post-16 students took part in the ‘Restart the Heart’ week CPR training. Justin from South West Ambulance Services came in to deliver an hour lunchtime training session to our Year 12 and 13 students, so they could feel confident and prepared in case of an emergency cardiac arrest situation. The students learnt about DRS ABC, how to use a defibrillator and how to carry out CPR. The research shows that by giving basic CPR in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest it can increase life chances from 7% to over 70%.
Congratulations goes to our Under 16 football team who played in the second round of the English School’s Cup at Helston School earlier this week. After a tiring two hour journey they had to play on a very tricky pitch. In addition, the Helston goalkeeper was exceptionally talented. However, Plymstock students love a challenge and the boys managed to win 6-0! Goals were scored by Liam Pardon (3), Luka Pkhakadze (2) and Ryan Patterson. Well done gentlemen – a great result.
Not to be outdone by the Year 11 team, our Year 10 football team were equally impressive. They managed to progress to the 3rd round of the ESFA Cup with a 10-0 win over Eggbuckland Community College. That is a TEN you see there! Fantastic result and well done.
A big well done goes to Alana Kelly in Year 7, who over the weekend took part in the 5km School Challenge Run. Amazingly, she completed it in just 31 minutes! What a great achievement for someone so young. In contrast, it would have taken me most of the morning and then about two weeks before I could walk again! Alana – you are going to have to train me.
It was not just Alana who was running over the weekend – Mrs Johns from our Science Department was too. She took part on the 10km run in aid of St Luke’s Hospice. She completed the race in an impressive 59:30, which was about 10 minutes faster than she expected. She saw so many friendly faces whilst running, including lots of our students. Mrs Johns said it was lovely to see them along the route and helping out by handing out water bottles. Well done Mrs Johns.
Last week saw the final of the Year 7 inter-tutor group Dodgeball Championship (Well – a rivalry between Miss Monelle’s and Mrs Tyrrell’s group). The game had a great turnout of spectators and Miss Monelle’s group put up a real fight, but Mrs Tyrrell’s group arrived with their game faces on and ended up winning the match 3-0.
If any tutor group would like to challenge Mrs Tyrrell’s group for the title then let her know and a Friday lunchtime game can be arranged.
A big thank you goes to Mr Steward, Miss Monelle and the Year 9 student mentors for their help – it really was great fun.
This week we will start our Post-16 student of the week winner. Some of our Year 13 students have been taking part in canoeing as part of their Public Services course. One of Merryn Dyer’s biggest fears is being capsized in water. Unfortunately, this is an integral part of canoeing. With the support of her friend Hannah (pictured on the right), she overcame anxiety and fear and managed to do it successfully. Well done Merryn – you were really brave and we’re very proud of you.
Emily Thornton is our Year 11 winner. Emily has won this in recognition of all the personal time that she gives up to support Ms Kirk with the coaching and running of the Year 7, 8 and 9 netball teams. It is really great to see a student doing things for the benefit of others. Thank you Emily.
Lloyd Austin is our Year 10 winner this week. Lloyd has been impressing staff since his return in September. He has significantly improved his attitude, effort and quality of work. It is so positive to see Lloyd’s growing maturity and confidence. Well done Lloyd and keep up the great work. Unfortunately, Lloyd was out when I was taking the photos – so I will upload once he is back in.
Our very worthy Year 9 student of the week is Kate Phillips. Kate is an absolutely fantastic student. She is polite, friendly, hard working, gets involved in the wider aspects of school life and is always willing to help others. This is something that remains true outside of school too. We feel very lucky to have her as one of our students.
We have multiple Year 8 winners this week. Sam Shipp, Louis Webster, Jay Vandam, River Seccombe and Rhiannon Baker all took part in a Tall Ships sailing experience this week. Their behaviour was exemplary, they got stuck in and really impressed both our staff and the crew. Well done to all of you.
Finally, we reach our Year 7 student of the week. The winner is Daw Chaikla and he was nominated for his hard work and commitment to learning French. He has really impressed in the classroom and is a complete star in cooperative work. In addition, he is always prepared to help and support anyone else in the group who is finding tasks a challenge. Well done Daw.