Plymstock School has just been chosen to appear in the national Good Schools Guide. This guide contains just over 1000 schools from across the country, covering state, independent, grammar, boarding, selective and non-selective schools. We will be visited next week by a representative of Good Schools Guide team, who will be touring the school, visiting lessons and talking to staff, students and parents. It is really pleasing to see that Plymstock School is being recognised for the great place that we all know it to be. I will update you all once the report is completed.
As part of the new A level German syllabus, students need to understand the key events from the post-war period, leading up to German reunification. There is no better place to experience this history than a visit Berlin. A huge thank you goes to Mrs Baker and Mrs Duff for accompanying the students. Below is a short write up from the students who took part…
On the Monday 13th March, our trip began with the news that the workers at Berlin Airport were on strike, so our flight was redirected to Dresden: two and a half hours away! However on arrival in Berlin, our taxi driver decided we should have a bit of a late night tour so we didn’t miss out and drove us length of the famous East Side Gallery, to set the scene for our trip. After a short sleep we began the first of three jam-packed twelve hour sightseeing days. The highlight of our first day was the walking tour, led by an ex-history teacher from London with fantastic socks! We saw the Brandenburg Gate, the memorial to the Jews, Checkpoint Charlie, the Gestapo building, the site of the book burnings and much more! We also visited the Reichstag (Parliament building) in the evening.
The second day was just as busy. It included a tour of the Stasi Museum, interactive insights into life in the DDR (East Germany) , the TV tower, and Mrs Duff’s very own walking tour! For Nathan, a particular highlight was his Pinocchio ice cream!
Day three took us more off the beaten track, going to see the remaining wall memorial park at Bernauer Strasse, where many East Germans fled using tunnels under the ‘deathstrip’. Later, James- Bond style, we flitted in and out of hidden doorways and staircases on underground station platforms, to visit the nuclear fallout shelters built in readiness for WW3. At the time of the Cold War it was predicted that a nuclear war would start in Berlin, where Soviet and American tanks were at a standoff at Checkpoint Charlie. Incredibly, these fully equipped, but never used shelters were maintained up until 2007.
Last week, our Duke of Edinburgh’s Award participants joined the British Heart Foundation’s ‘Fight for Every Heartbeat’ campaign. The students used state of the art manakins to complete CPR training that equipped them with the skills to save a life.
The aim of the campaign is to create a nation of life-savers. The students learnt that over 30,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of hospital each year. In the UK only 1 in 10 patients survive, compared to 1 in 4 in countries such as Norway, where CPR is taught on the curriculum in schools.
We are proud that Plymstock School is joining the fight! Our DofE students now have the confidence to take action when faced with an emergency, which could mean the difference between life and death.
The A2 Theatre Studies group undertook their final performance piece last Friday which accounted for 20% of their final grade. They decided to perform in an ‘Expressionist’ style and based their play on the rise of Donald Trump! The group worked for five months and not only had to write the piece themselves, but had complete responsibility for the lighting, sound, costume and set. All off which had to be consistent with the style they were trying to achieve.
‘Star Spangled Idiocracy’ was performed to both the external Exam Moderator and the Chief Moderator (who actually wrote the course specification…no pressure there then!). A group of A-level students were also invited to watch and everyone was completely blown away with the highly creative and original performance. Three members of the group gained full marks, with the rest all securely placed on the highest band. The Chief Moderator commented that the piece was not only superbly written, but the performance was excellent in its execution. She also mentioned that she’d like to use the piece for the national exemplar DVD that is sent to all AQA centres.
We are extremely proud of what all our Drama students have achieved this year, and this performance really proves that the Plymstock School Drama department can consistently produce work of the very highest quality. I would also like to thank Mr Chick for his exceptional teaching, guidance and support for the students.
Tuesday this week saw one of our Life Education days, where students across all year groups were engaged in activities to support the wider curriculum and their personal development. A big thank you to all the staff and guests that enabled everything to run so smoothly. The activities included:
- Year 7: ‘Legal Eagle’ activity – students learnt about the British Legal System then completed a role-play of a court case.
- Year 8: Students spent the day engaging with the Job Explorer Database to identify relevant future career options.
- Year 9: Enterprise Challenge – students were tasked with planning their own music festival and had to manage budgets, undertake marketing and put together a ‘pitch’. This session was delivered by Marjon Teacher Training Students.
- Year 10: The students studied financial education, supported with resources from Barclay’s Bank, as well as having an opportunity to start to think about effective revision techniques for the increasingly challenging examinations ahead.
- Year 11: Students in Year 11 were given the opportunity to complete a First Aid course, hear from the National Citizenship Service, as well as developing revision strategies and planning a revision timetable.
- Post-16: Students took part in a variety of bespoke activities including the opportunity to attend the Higher Education Convention at the Westpoint Arena and the ‘You’re Hired’ competition (which is covered further on in the ‘student of the week’ section).
Jess Cooper in Year 12 is absolutely passionate about musical theatre and it is her dream to pursue singing on stage as a career. Jess is extremely dedicated and is just about to take her Grade 7 musical theatre singing exam (having achieved a distinction in her last three grades). She has also just completed her Grade 5 music theory (results pending), attends Wranglers Theatre group and works to pay for her own dance lessons.
Jess recently auditioned for a place in The Youth Music Theatre UK Company’s summer project and has just been offered a place. However, the cost of taking part is very expensive (£1,500!). The project is a two week residential and will involve intensive training in dance, drama and singing. Jess is undertaking fundraising to cover the cost. She is trying lots of different ideas including holding a dinner party, putting on concerts etc… Additionally she has set up a Go-fund-me’ page.
We wish Jess the very best with fundraising and if anyone would like to make a small donation to support Jess, please click HERE
Congratulations go to Sam Coleman and Alexander Kerridge in Year 11 who recently played in the Ellis Junior Cup for Badminton – where they won the men’s doubles! In addition Sam won the singles and Alex was runner-up in the mixed-doubles. Well done to the both of you, a great achievement.
I’d also like to pass on my congratulations to one of our Year 7 students – Euan Lyons. Last Sunday he travelled to Bath University to compete in the South West Qualifier for Trampolining. Euan was up against the best trampolinists in the region.
Euan did incredibly well and managed to achieve a Bronze Medal.
Well done Euan – Your Trampolining Coach at Plymouth Phoenix Trampolining Club, your family and the school are all very proud of you.
It’s student of the week time again and we begin with Year 7, where this week’s winner is Emily Nannelli. She has been nominated in recognition of the fact that she has been volunteering with the St John Ambulance for the past year. It really is great to see someone so young wanting to dedicate some of their own free time to help others.
Our Year 8 student of the week is Jacob James who has been nominated for consistently demonstrating two key Plymstock School traits – resilience and positivity. These are two important skills that will serve Jacob well throughout his life.
The Year 9 winner for this week is Ed Bearman. This year, Ed became one of our Literacy Leaders and he gives up some of his free time each week to work with younger students to improve their literacy skills. The staff have been really impressed with his dedication to the role, particularly the level of support he has provided to the students he works with.
The Year 10 student of the week is Katherine Page. She is an incredibly hard working student, with very challenging target grades, but her extremely positive attitude and strong commitment to her studies is a real pleasure to see. Katherine is also a student who uses her initiative and without prompting has already written her CV! Keep up the great work.
Rhys Collins is this week’s winner in Year 11. Rhys is a fantastic young man with a really great attitude. He quietly goes about his business and often slips under the radar – however, it is important to recognise what a positive member of our school community he is. I have also heard that during his PE lessons he regularly puts in Kante-esq performances! (He knows what this means).
Our Post-16 winners this week are Rhys Heslop and Leoni Massey-Clamp for making it through to the ‘You’re Hired’ competition final. ‘You’re Hired!’ is a business challenge, issued to 17 year olds across Plymouth by a number of local, national and international businesses, challenging them to solve commercial problems in a creative and strategic manner. You’re Hired! works with all schools in Plymouth each year in a bid to find “Plymouth’s Most Employable 17 Year Old” along with many other awards. I am delighted that both Rhys and Leoni are both in with a chance of being crowned the overall winner. Best of luck to both of you.