Well – here we are – the last blog of 2017! It has been a very busy but highly successful year for our school community. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to that success, and the huge amounts of support you have all given for what we do here at Plymstock School. I am sure that 2018 will see our school grow even stronger. I would like to wish you all a fantastic Christmas and a happy new year.
This week we held our Christmas hamper assemblies. This has been expertly organised by Mrs Wilkins for many years (thank you Miss) and it involves tutor groups donating food and creating a bespoke hamper, which is then delivered to elderly and vulnerable people within the local community, to ensure they have a great Christmas. As ever, the generosity of our students and their families has been staggering. On top of that, the creativity shown in the making of some stunning hampers was exceptional (some examples are shown below). A big thank you goes to all our students, their tutors and their families for the immense effort and kindness shown. We’d also like to thank our Premises team (especially Mr Freeman) and Mr Wyatt, who helped with the assemblies and the deliveries of the lovely hampers – the recipients were so grateful.
It’s these little things about our school community that really make me smile.
Over the weekend, one of our Post-16 students, Joseph Beecher, bravely completed a sponsored ‘Santa Abseil’. Joseph did this for the YMCA in Exeter, to help raise money to combat youth homelessness – which is particularly important at this time of the year. Well done Joseph – an exciting experience and a very worthwhile cause.
Congratulations go to our Judo stars, Max and Cordelia Gregory. Recently the British Judo Championships took place at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.
After his success at the UK School Games in September and at two competitions in Holland in October, Max finished the year off in style. Having been awarded his 1st Dan on the Thursday, he then went on to become the 2017 British Cadet Under 90kg Champion on the Saturday. This has secured his place in the England squad for another year. Max is also on the GB Talent Development Programme and hopes to be selected to represent the country at the European Cup in 2018. In conjunction with his A Levels, Max is currently completing an Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence at Bath University….where he hopes to attend after completing the Sixth Form. Max is our well deserved Post-16 student of the week.
Cordelia’s recent success in Holland was followed up by a move in age groups. Cordelia is now a Cadet (14-17 years) and at the British Championships, despite being the youngest and smallest in the Cadet +70kg group, she came away with a bronze medal, which has also secured her England squad position. Cordelia is also our Year 10 student of the week in recognition of her great success.
A massive well done to the both of you.
Congratulations also go to one of our diving stars – Aidan Heslop. He recently produced an impressive display at the Scottish National and Open Championships in Edinburgh. Aidan returned home with a gold and a silver medal as well as a qualifying score for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia. Aidan won the men’s platform title and hopes to represent Wales at the Gold Coast event in April, He scored an impressive 465.35 points in the preliminaries before winning the final, ahead of Scotland’s James Heatly, with 393.15 points. Well done Aidan – a fantastic achievement. On top of this, we have just heard that Aidan has also been shortlisted for the Herald’s Young Sports Personality of the Year Awards. You can read the article HERE
One of our former students, Heather Knight, who is currently Captain of the England Women’s Cricket Team, is also up for two awards at the event as well. She is shortlisted for both Sports Personality of the Year and the ‘Champagne Moment’ Award for winning the Cricket World Cup.
We wish both Aidan and Heather the very best of luck.
On Wednesday last week a group of Year 11 boys were released from their lessons to play rugby for the school against St. Boniface’s College, away at Crownhill. Our team consisted of Archie White, Archie Curtis (Capt), James Foster, Ehren Duke, Owen Hollett, Owen Bradley, Joe Cooper, Kian Jackson, James Bingham, Bart Zarzycki, Zak Watson, Tommy Davis, Drew Davidson, Adam England and Ed Marks.
The team were pumped up and all ready to play by the 3:15pm kick off – but the first 20 mins was just full-on franetic rugby, strewn with small handling errors and despite constant pressure from Plymstock, some resolute defending and last ditch tackles from St Boniface meant it was 0-0 at half time.
Several players came close to breaking the deadlock, but it was James Bingham who exploited gaps in the St Boniface defence to plunge over for the first try. Soon our dominance created another try for Archie White off the back of a 5m scrum, and the coup de grace was provided by Bart Zarzycki, who scored a great solo effort, in front of many of his former team-mates! Every player performed well and combined together with superb off-loading, to produce an exhilarating and sustained attacking style!
Archie Curtis capped a fine Captain’s performance with two quality conversions to make the final score 19-0. The whole team played well and did us proud. The match was played in a genuinely sporting spirit by both teams. Well done to the whole team and thank you to Mr Steward for supporting the game.
One of our Post-16 students, Erin Downes, has just started life as a local journalist. She is writing for the Plymstock Shopper and has just had her first articles published, which you can see below. Well done Erin.
We now reach our student of the week section. We have already highlighted our Post-16 and Year 10 winners earlier in the blog, so we start with Patience Potter our Year 7 winner. Patience is a shining example of a Plymstock School student, who is hard working, showing a consistently positive attitude and is highly supportive to her peers. Well done Patience.
Katie Carpenter is our Year 8 winner this week. Over the summer break, Katie entered a horse show and as a result of this she has now been chosen to compete at the ‘1st Ridden’ event in Wales in the new year. Well done Katie.
Our Year 9 winner is Sajed Abu Lileh. He has been nominated for having perfect attendance all term, displaying consistently outstanding behaviour and being a great all-round student. Keep up the good work Sajed.
Finally, Jessie Cook is our Year 11 student of the week. Jessie has been nominated by her Head of Year for making huge improvements over this last term. Well done Jessie and keep up the great work. Unfortunately Jessie was engaged in another activity when I was taking photos this week.
Have a wonderful Christmas everyone and we look forward to the year ahead.