Welcome back from the half term break and I hope you are all well. This week I’d like to start by mentioning two fantastic school trips that took place over the last couple couple of weeks.
Firstly, our annual ski trip went to the beautiful Southern Alps of SuperDévoluy, France during the half term break. SuperDévoluy is one of the largest ski areas in the Southern Alps, offering a varied terrain for all abilities. Quieter than the more well-known resorts, it was a great choice with extensive skiing, doorstep accommodation and a quieter, laid-back atmosphere, which was ideally suited to our school group. Ranging between 1500 – 2500 metres, the slopes were great for our mixed ability skiers. Additionally, the area linked to La Joue du Loup, a neighbouring ski area, which allowed even more skiing to take place.
All students took part in five hours of ski lessons each day, with a fully qualified English speaking instructor, and over the week skied the entire area. Apres ski included a pizza evening, ten-pin bowling and the famous disco night where students and staff could demonstrate their best moves! As always, all parties including the hotel staff, ski staff and coach drivers complimented Plymstock staff on our students’ behaviour, team spirit and resilience!
Mr Taylor (Head of PE), commented on how great the trip was and how brilliant our students were. Unfortunately, Ski France 2018 is now full, however, preparations have started for Ski 2019 – so watch this space!
A special thank you goes to all the staff who supported this trip.
Before the half term break a large group of Year 7 students also visited France – this time Normandy.
In the early hours of a cold February morning, 77 Plymstock students and 12 staff from across the school set out for Chateau Beaumont in the heart of the Normandy countryside. Despite the forecasters predicting a storm, the students enjoyed a smooth and tranquil crossing aboard the ‘Amerique’ and arrived at the Chateau in time for a very welcome dinner.
After a good night’s sleep the students headed to the Laval market. This traditional and authentic French town market was a hive of activity with the locals meeting to buy and sell a huge variety of fresh foods and local produce. The honey bee farmer with his beautiful beeswax candles was a big hit and two of our students, Livvy Johnson and Mylo Mackenzie, were offered the chance to try their hand at making authentic French crêpes with a well-known stall holder. All the Year 7s made a huge effort to speak as much French as possible and were praised for their enthusiastic use of language.
Back at the chateau the sun shone down as the students embarked on an afternoon packed with fun activities. There was Archery and Zip Wiring in the Chateau’s beautiful gardens and Fencing and Climbing taking place indoors. The “Nightline” saw the students get rather muddy as they completed an assault course whilst wearing blackout goggles and they pitted their wits against the team building puzzles.
After the jam packed day, an evening of traditional French cuisine awaited the staff and students, many of whom arrived in their French outfits. There were definitely some apprehensive looks as the snails and frogs legs were brought out but our students soon got stuck in and the prize for most snails eaten has to go to Keira Wilkins – she loved them! Beef bourguignon and crêpes followed before the French quiz and finally the fashion show. I’m not sure whether the staff or students enjoyed this the most!
Sunday saw a visit to the iconic Mont St Michel, the inspiration for Hogwarts and Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter stories. Students explored the ancient causeway and learned about the gruesome way English soldiers were treated there in the past. This was followed up with a trip to the medieval Fougères castle which was once crucial in defending the local area.
That night the students enjoyed an impressive talent show with fantastic acts including some amazing singing from Katie Haynes and Grace Burt. This was followed by a disco which the chateau staff said was the best one they had had in years!
Before commencing the return journey, students visited the poignant D-Day landing beaches and watched a captivating film at the 360 degree cinema explaining the significance of Arromanches coastline. For the first time there wasn’t a breath of wind and with the tide out everyone had an opportunity to explore the beaches properly.
The trip was a huge success and the students were impeccable. Their conduct and behaviour was complimented by the staff at the chateau, the coach drivers and even members of the public. The Year 11 Language Leaders were absolutely fantastic and supported the year 7s with every aspect of the trip. All of our students really did Plymstock School proud.
A huge thank you goes to the 12 staff who enabled this trip to happen.
Our Year 11 boys Basketball Team have been crowned Plymouth champions! The committed members of the team became Plymouth champions just before the half term break. They finished an unbeaten season with seven straight victories to see off all competition across the city. In an incredibly busy year, with each player having many other commitments, they trained and performed at the highest level to achieve this success. Mr Campbell said “Well done gentlemen, it has been a pleasure working with you”.
I would also like to echo that by congratulating the boys and also thanking Mr Campbell for his expert coaching skills and support.
Our Under 12 boys won the Devon Futsal Competition prior to half term and are now completely unbeaten after 11 games in this year’s competition.
They topped a tight group with wins against Cullumpton Community College 5-4 and Okehampton College 3-1. Two exciting games ended in draws against St Luke’s School 1-1 and Torquay Boys Grammar School 2-2. In the final they played St Peter’s School and after some outstanding saves and excellent defensive play, they managed to score the only goal of the game on the break. The team now progress to the regional finals on Sunday 09 April.
The team are:
- Max Parnowski
- Charlie Castlehouse
- Tom Elliot
- Conrad Naylor
- Will Rundle
- Jo Pearcey
- Toby Harris
- Noel Revell
- Lloyd Taylor-Stevenson
Well done boys – great result.
This week I heard some great news about one of our fantastic Sixth Form students. Jasmine Salop competed in the UK ITF Taekwon-Do National Championships in Bath over the half term break. I am absolutely delighted to report that she won a gold medal in patterns and silver in sparring. Well done Jasmine.
Two students in Year 10, Thomas Hunt and Angus Hill, are on a fundraising drive to support their expedition to Peru, and have organised an event for Saturday 04 March at the Plymstock United Church Hall. The advert is below with all the details and everyone is welcome. Best of luck gentlemen.
It’s time for our student of the week awards. First up is our Year 7 winner – Presley Mills. He has been awarded this for his continued hard work, extremely positive attitude and some truly outstanding homework for Geography. Well done Presley.
Our Year 8 student of the week goes to Anna McFarlane for her positive work with a sight-impaired student in Year 7, supporting that student to improve their reading. Additionally it’s for her high quality presentation work in EPIC and for her support to other students in Drama. Anna is a real credit to Year 8.
The Year 9 student of the week, goes to our very own rock legend, Louis Bernard, who wowed staff, students and parents with his incredible guitar playing and mixing skills, resulting in him winning ‘Plymstock’s Got Talent’. A star is born!
Jessie Mowbray is this week’s Year 10 winner. Jessie ‘Braved the Shave’ just before half term for the Little Princess Trust. Her hair will now be used to create a wig for a young cancer sufferer. You can see the dramatic change in the before and after photos below. A very brave thing to do for a teenager. Well done Jessie.
If any of you would like to make a donation please visit Jessie’s Just Giving page by clicking HERE
Thank you for your support.
Our Year 11 winner is Grace Elliot-Smith. In addition to just being a great student who works incredibly hard, she gives up huge amounts of her time volunteering to help other students, especially in her role as a Sports Ambassador. Well done Grace.
Unusually we have four joint winners of student of the week for Sixth Form – Zack Allen, Lois Teasdale, Erin Downes and Leoni Massey-Clamp. These four students wrote outstanding letters of application to take part in the Lessons For Auschwitz Project. All four successfully gained places and will now be attending seminars over the next month in preparation for the visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland, to learn more about the Holocaust. They will then be sharing what they have learnt with students in Years 7-11.