It only seems like yesterday that we came back from the summer holidays and here we already are at half term! As always a very busy but highly successful seven weeks. To end the half term, I give you a bumper blog!
Last week saw a wide variety of activities taking place in school for our annual Post-16 charity week. The purpose was to raise money for two charities – St Luke’s Hospice and Plymouth Mind. Perhaps the most unusual activity was the ‘baby games’ involving two paddling pools and a tricycle! Students also donated all their spare copper coins, which alone raised £50 and was used to create our school logo in copper! However, the biggest draw was the exceptionally popular ‘pie a teacher’ event. Four staff stepped into the breach – Mrs Dover, Ms Pring, Mr Sprenkel and Mr Bellamy. It is fair to say that Mr Sprenkel received more than his fair share of customers! On reflection, it probably wasn’t his best decision to temporarily close the post-16 lower common room due to a pile of unwashed cups, the very day that students could pay to chuck pies at him!! We are still collecting in all the money raised and will have final total very soon, but we expect it to be around four figures – which is great!
Last week also saw our Year 10 and 11 Travel and Tourism students joined by two visitors from Hays Travel – Graham Snelling and Atlanta Glanfield. Our guests answered questions about the tourist industry and took part in two workshops.
Our Year 10 students were very enthusiastic and asked a range of questions to find out about the day to day life of a travel agent and the different types of holidays that Graham and Atlanta had organised for customers. The students were challenged to design their own UK based travel companies and came up with some brilliant and exciting ideas. The Year 11 students focussed more on meeting the needs of a range of different types of traveller and then found holidays in brochures to match those requirements. Graham and Atlanta helped them to understand how customers’ needs vary and why certain holidays would be more appropriate than others. Both year groups were absolutely terrific and made Mrs Richards feel really proud.
Students in Year 8 have been learning about, and using, that age-old Science classic – the Van Der Graaf Generator! For those that aren’t familiar with it – the generator consists of a flexible dielectric belt running over two metal pulleys. The belt is used to transport charge, isolating positive charge from negative charge. However, the bit that most people associate with it is – it makes your hair stand on end!!! This was experienced by some of our students in the photos below.
On Friday, forty Year 11 students, along with Miss Grainger and Ms Burgess, visited The Theatre Royal to watch a Japanese adaptation of Macbeth (directed by the late Yukio Ninagawa). This three hour production was a hit with our students and a great way to revise one of their GCSE Literature texts. Many remarked upon how incredible the set and costumes were and how it made them view some of the characters in a whole new light. As we come to expect with our students – they were absolutely brilliant!
For many weeks our Year 13 Cambridge Technical Business Studies students have been completing an important ‘real world’ business task. The students are required to organise an event from start to finish, involving planning, market research, costing, budgeting and implementation. They key thing is the students must operate a workable event and at least break even. Therefore due to their hard work, on Friday a large group of Post-16 students, accompanied by Mr Hughes, Mrs Hughes, Mrs Parsons and Mrs Littler, departed by coach from Plymstock School and headed off for a weekend of excitement at Thorpe Park. Everything went to plan and our students and staff had a great time. Well done everyone.
On Wednesday this week, Periods 1 and 2 were collapsed as part of our Life Education programme. A wide variety of activities were running over the morning which included:
- Year 7 and Year 10 working together in groups on the topic of anti-bullying
- Year 8 completed a session on internet safety – including watching the Safer Internet Day national film, that was produced at Plymstock and stars our very own students! If you haven’t seen the video – it can be viewed below
- The Year 9 session was on Hate Crime – this involved a session on Disability Hate and a workshop with Amber Initiatives
- The Year 11 session used the ‘Exploited’ resources from CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection), part of the National Crime Agency, to help students understand different types of relationship.
I was really impressed with the high quality learning and teaching that goes on during these sessions. Life Education forms an important part of our curriculum offer at Plymstock School and is vital in helping young people develop into well-rounded citizens of the future. Our staff and students really step up to the mark, and deal with complex and sensitive issues brilliantly. A huge thank you goes to our Life Education Coordinator, Mrs Dover, who organised and led the morning.
On Tuesday, I was just finishing my morning duty when I popped into the Main Hall to see one of our Heads of Year, Mrs Summers, doing an assembly with Year 8. The assembly was all about recognising those students who try hard, do their best and maintain positive attitude. She was presenting them with certificates and a little prize each – which brought many smiles. What a great way to start the day.
On National Poetry Day, our library community came together to celebrate poems written by students in an open mic session. Destine Benjamin and Emma Capdeville were the compères for the event and also shared poems they had written themselves, including a poem performed entirely in French (merci beacoup Emma!). Miss Grainger, Mr Nicholls and Mr Crawford also gave the crowd some laughs with their own poetic contributions.
Students across the school were also asked to take part in a poetry competition based on the theme of freedom. There were piles of fantastic poems to read through and eventually the winners were announced.
Joe Spry took first prize with his poem entitled ‘World of Books’ and Eve Moisob and Fern Stride took joint second place with their contributions – ‘Freedom are You There?’ and ‘Blissful Freedom’. Congratulations to the winners and a huge thank you to everyone who took part.
Here’s the winning poem…
The World of Pages
When I am reading, I feel really free
Like I am in a magical fantasy
While using books that I own
My mind comes out of my head and is thrown
Into a story for ages and ages
Anything is possible in this world of pages
In this swell story the world is mine
Reading this way doesn’t feel like a crime
I like stories with adventure and action
I’m teaching my mind without any distraction
The ultimate experience and I don’t have to pay wages
Great things can happen in this – world of pages.
Ever since we returned from the summer break, the sheer number of students choosing to use our cafe, The Galley, has increased dramatically! Our Head Chef, Rob Borthwick, has consulted with students about the food they want (well – within the food nutrition standards for schools) and his team are producing a really great range of options. To help facilitate a faster service for our students, we have just ordered an additional food serving area, called a ‘Food Cube’. This Food Cube will help reduce queuing times, allowing students to get the food they want quicker. Our Food Cube is nearly ready and should be in school ready for the return from half term. A photo of our newly completed facility getting prepared for delivery can be seen below.
Last week, Mrs Tyrrell was incredibly proud of our Under 14 Futsal Team, who played in the FA Plymouth Schools Futsal Tournament at the Life Centre, and managed to qualify for the next round after finishing in second place. They narrowly missed out to Hele’s School who were overall winners, even though they beat them 2-1 on the court!
The team consisted of Bronwyn LLoyd, Jessica Jennings, Jessica Finch, Beth Reilly, Rose Walker, Katie Bath, Molly Welch and Betsie Warwick. Well done girls!
Year 8 student, Codie Curzon-Berners, plays for Plymouth Hockey Club. He was goalkeeper last Friday and they won two games, drew one and lost one. He was voted Player of the Match for his great performance. Well done Codie. In addition, he also plays for Devonport Services as well as being in the school team.
It’s student of the week time and we begin with our Year 7 winners – William Blewett and Morgan Algar. Both of these students hosted our Year 7 Settling In Evening on Wednesday. They greeted parents with confident big smiles and guided them to the tutors with skill. Thank you both for your time – you were brilliant.
Our winner in Year 8 this week is Theo Price. He is a young man that models everything we ask for in a student – he is positive, enthusiastic and hard working. On top of that he always does his best to help others. Keep up the great work Theo.
Tia Collins is our Year 9 student of the week. She has been awarded this for her continued effort and hard work across her lessons, and for always being a kind and caring person, with a great smile!
Elisha Martin is the Year 10 student of the week. Elisha has made a really impressive start to her GCSE History course over the last seven weeks. She has consistently demonstrated excellent independent learning skills, which she is also modelling for her peers. According to Mrs Wilkins, she is an absolute star in the classroom!
We have a bumper crop of Year 11 students of the week today – 10 to be precise! We have just completed our Year 11 progress checks and these fine students have all been identified by staff as making the greatest level of progress so far, across all their subjects. A massive well done to you all and this is a real reflection of your hard work over many years. The students are:
- Phoebe Showler
- Thomas Hunt
- Marcus Merrell-Jones
- Amy Jordan
- Megan Ellis
- Jake Conibeer
- Ruby Showler
- Brooke Bennett
- Ashleigh Willcocks
- Fran Dodd
As with Year 11, we have a group of Post-16 students of the week. You’ve guessed it – it’s the group that organised the Thorpe Park trip. Well done everyone. The fantastic team were:
- Isy Burdett
- Charlotte Waites
- Laura Mullin
- Luke Arnold
- Sam Murphy
- Harrison King
- Stephen Walshe