Last week saw our students engaged in a wide variety of remembrance events to commemorate and honour those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom. Mrs Wilkins, our HMS Heroes Coordinator, led our assemblies throughout the week. On Friday we held a ‘Red, White and Blue Day’ where students dressed in the colours and donated money to the national charity. Some students, such as Elisha (pictured below), really made an effort!
One of our Year 11 students, Fred Clegg-Davies, placed an RNLI wreath, on behalf of the residents of Turnchapel, at the War Memorial at Hooe Lake on Friday morning. Fred’s dad is a former serviceman who saw several tours of duty in the Middle East and Fred is incredibly proud to have been asked by the Turnchapel Residents Association to be the wreath bearer. You can see Fred below.
In addition, three of our Sixth Form students (Zack Allen, Lois Teasdale and James Weir), along with Mrs Littler, attended the Burrow Hill Memorial on Friday. Zack and Lois read a poem called ‘The Last Post’. This is something we do each year paying tribute to the fallen.
Rebecca Hart in Year 9 performed with the Military Kids Choir over the weekend at the Plymouth Pavilions. Rebecca is an amazing singer and she sang a solo part in two of the songs. The choir were very well received by a packed auditorium. On top of that she also spent most of Saturday in The Mall selling poppies.
On Friday, Plymstock hosted the Primary Indoor Athletics Competition for the primary schools within our local area. It was a fantastic event, organised and run by the Plymouth School Sports Partnership, but helping to support them were 16 of our Year 9 leaders (pictured below). The student leaders were an absolute credit to the school. They were well organised, highly motivated and the staff involved were full of praise for them. A huge thank you to everyone involved in the event.
Congratulations go to Year 11 students – Lilly Pearce and Lucy Evans. On Saturday the South West Brass Band Annual Championship was held in Torquay. Lilly and Lucy, along with the other members of the Soundhouse Youth Band competed in the competition and won the training section for the 3rd year in a row! A brilliant result – well done girls.
The Year 7 football team have been training hard all this term. The boys who have shown the greatest commitment were given the opportunity to play in two friendly games against Stoke Damerel Community College and Eggbuckland Community College last week. Plymstock School fielded an incredible 49 boys in five teams! The teams managed their own substitutes, sorted formations and played some excellent football, against some strong opposition.
The boys then competed in The English Schools Cup. The team breezed through the first round with a 5-1 win against South Molton Community College, with Reece McShane scoring a hat-trick! The team were then given a second round bye. Tavistock College were the opponents awaiting them in the next round. The team began shakily and Herbie Bell (our goalkeeper) had to pull off a string of fine saves to stop the visitors going ahead. Plymstock settled and after rattling the cross bar twice, took a 2-0 lead through Reece McShane and Thomas Ellis. Tavistock were a different side in the second half and we failed to cope with the increased physicality and long ball threat. The team were rocked by conceding 4 goals in the space of ten minutes (I know that feeling, being a long-term Tottenham fan!) The team showed real resilience and fight, and managed to claw one more goal back. Ultimately the game ended 4-3 to Tavistock. The team are showing real promise and I am sure they will get stronger and stronger over the year.
Year 8 Science students have been learning about the lungs and how they have special features that make them really good at what they do. They also have to know how other animals are adapted to take in oxygen – so it decided that the students would do a fish dissection to study gills. Most of the students were really enthusiastic and couldn’t wait to get stuck in! Unfortunately, some were not overly fond of the smell and it really tested the ‘gag reflex’. The rest of the Science department were not overly happy with Miss Evans’ group either, due to the very interesting aroma in the corridor!! I think the first photo below encapsulates the experience nicely (don’t worry – the actual dissections are edited out!).
On Monday the Humanities department were visited by a delegation of young people from Israel. Idan and Maayan gave a talk to students during Period 5 about life in Israel and discussed the history, geography and different religions of Israel. Students also had the opportunity to ask questions about what it is like to live in modern Israel. It was a really fascinating and worthwhile experience and we thank Idan and Maayan for their time.
On Wednesday morning, a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) event took place for Years 7 and 8. We were visited by representatives from BAE Systems, the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy. The event focused on engineering. It aimed to show what engineering was all about, dispel some myths (it’s not about just taking engines apart!), and look at some of the amazing things engineers do. The highlight was showcasing some of the technology that the engineering industry has produced. Students got to see a top of the range drone in action and a highly advanced robot, that interacted with our students. The technology was incredible and the students were hooked from start to finish. It was a great morning and a huge thanks to Mr Luscombe for organising this opportunity for our students.
On Thursday we had a whole collapsed day linked to our students’ futures. A wide variety of different activities were planned that included:
- Year 7: Completed the ‘Real Game’ and accessed our online job database.
- Year 8: Studied employment sectors, skills for working life and took part in the ‘Innovation Challenge’.
- Year 9: Choices for the future (including employment and higher education) and accessed our Careers Fair and Futures Event.
- Year 10: The focus was on employability, including work experience, apprenticeships and access to the Careers and Futures Event.
- Year 11: Our students also accessed the big events, received talks on apprenticeships and looked at Post-16 and higher education opportunities.
- Post-16: Students took part in the ‘You’re Hired’ Event.
It was a very busy day but a highly successful one. The big highlight was the Careers/Futures event, where nearly 30 different companies, services and education institutions joined us for the day. These ranged from the Peninsula Medical School, to Womble Bond Dickinson (legal firm), through to Network Rail. The students really enjoyed this. In fact one girl in Year 9 was overheard saying to her friends “That was the best 20 minutes of my life”. You can’t get a better review than that!
I would like to thank all of our external visitors who gave up their time to spend the day talking and working with our students. A special thank you also goes to Tiff Rickard, our Careers Advisor, who was supported by Paul Steward (and a team of Post-16 students), to set all of this up. Additionally, at Post-16, the programme was expertly organised and run by Beckie Littler – so a big thank you to you as well.
On Thursday evening we held our first Duke of Edinburgh celebration event. Last year we reintroduced the Duke of Edinburgh Award Programme (DofE) to Plymstock School. An opportunity that was seized by a large number of students and was exceptionally well led by Mrs Tyrrell, our Head of PE. Thursday evening was our chance to celebrate the achievements of last year with the participating students, their parents and staff (Mr Wookey, Mr Steward and Mr Roberts). The students were deservedly presented with their Bronze Awards and the atmosphere was lovely. It was such a privilege to spend the evening with such an amazing group of young people. Well done – we are really proud of you all.
We’ve now reached our students of the week section. First up is Year 7 and we have two winners this week – Lizzie Boalch and Jack Morgan.
Lizzie has won for achieving 100% on her Accelerated Reader test and demonstrating significant progress in reading in the short time she has been with us. Sticking with a literary theme, Jack is also a winner this week for showing huge levels of engagement and creativity in English. A big well done to the both of you.
Rhys Prevost has won the Year 8 award this week. Rhys is an extremely hard working and committed student, with an excellent behaviour record and keen interest in reading. He is also a highly responsible member of the Plymstock community and offers support and encouragement to his friends.
Harry Thorn is the Year 9 winner this week. He was nominated by Mrs Lowe for his drumming skills. Harry is taking part in the school show and when he is given a new piece of music to learn for the show, he goes away and practises relentlessly, until it is perfect. He is a really proactive and enthusiastic young man. Keep up the great work Harry.
The winner for Year 10 is Samuel Nye. Although only 9 weeks into his GCSE courses, Samuel has really impressed staff with his improved work ethic and attitude. The new GCSEs are very tough but Samuel has really risen to the challenge and is trying very hard. Well done and keep up your great start to the year.
Tilly Warrey is our student of the week for Year 11. Tilly joined Plymstock School last year and has shown a significant improvement. We are really proud of her positive attitude and unremitting determination to succeed. Well done Tilly.
We have four students who have won Post-16 student of the week. Olivia Webber (Year 12), Katie Dart (Year 12), Tom Webb (Year 13) and Caitlin Hamon (Year 13) are all making excellent progress. In last week’s progress check, all four students were on or above target in every subject area and have consistently displayed an excellent attitude to learning. Great work everyone.
Finally – don’t forget to buy your tickets for our school show – School of Rock. Judging by the rehearsals we can expect an amazing show!