This week we celebrated with our annual Art Show. Every year that I have been at Plymstock School we’ve had an Art Show but I have to say, that I believe this could be the very best yet. When I walked into the Main Hall, my jaw just dropped. The quality and diversity of the work on display was breathtaking. The talent that exists amongst our students (and some of our staff) is simply incredible. I could wax lyrical forever but I think the best way I can get my point across is to show you some photos. I could have taken hundreds but I’ve limited it to 16 photos, just to give you a flavour of what was being showcased.
The main event on Tuesday evening was really well attended and it was great to see students, parents and staff all celebrating these wonderful achievements. A huge thank you to Mr Hurd-Thomas, the Art Department and the Premises Team for setting up the show. Also, I’d like to thank all those parents that had to cope with ‘artist temperaments’ over the last few weeks. Finally, I want to say a huge congratulations and a big well done to all our fantastic students who contributed to the show.
Whilst we are celebrating the arts, you will recall that I recently let you know that we have a number of school site improvement projects planned for the summer and autumn term. One of the most exciting aspects will be our new Arts Centre, with an amazing performance space (with seating for 500 people) and permanent art gallery. This space will enable us to really expand our performing and creative arts opportunities, as well as showcase our outstanding student work and performances. I have included some preliminary plans of what our new Arts Centre is likely to look like. Photo 1 is the ground floor. Photo 2 is the ground floor with mezzanine seating included. Photo 3 is the external view. I will keep everyone updated over the coming weeks.
Over the weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Times Educational Supplement (TES) Awards in London. As many of you know, Plymstock School co-leads the Plymouth Schools Sports Partnership (PSSP) with Sir John Hunt Community College. The PSSP works with 81 schools across the city of Plymouth and we were nominated for a Collaboration Award. Although we did not win our category, it was still an achievement to have been shortlisted. It was also a great event to celebrate the work of the teaching profession as a whole, with over 1000 people attending. The event was hosted by Julian Clary (I won’t repeat any of the jokes on here!) but there were also a number of high profile guests attending, including Justine Greening MP (the Education Secretary), Amanda Spielman (the Chief Inspector for Ofsted) and Sir David Carter (the National Schools Commissioner).
I personally spoke to Justine Greening, the Education Secretary, and invited her to come and visit Plymstock School in the autumn term – which she accepted! We look forward to welcoming her to Plymstock School as I believe it shows our students that they are important enough in today’s education system to be visited by important senior people within the government.
Following our very successful visit to Brest in May, last Sunday saw the arrival of our French exchange partners as part of the Erasmus + ‘Ocean Citizens of the Future’ Project. The students from the Lycée de L’Iroise were greeted in true British fashion with even the Royal Navy heralding their arrival with a helicopter landing on the Hoe – much to their delight!
All the students had a fantastic week with trips to the Aqaurium, Royal William Yard and Morewellham Quay, as well as spending time at Plymstock, discovering what a British school was really like. They certainly seemed intrigued with our school uniform and have all ordered their own ‘Plymstock School’ hoodies to remind them of their trip.
On Friday, our students led a town trail, exploring the maritime hertiage of Plymouth and showing the French visitors some of the important monuments and areas of historical significance. The students did exceptionally well as they delivered the tour entirely in French! The partners from Brest then presented in our Lecture Theatre on the history of Brest’s harbours.
The students really enjoyed getting to know each other and loved having the visitors stay with them. There were plenty of tears at the ferry port as it was time to say goodbye and many of the students have already made plans to visit their partners again in the summer. An excellent exchange all round!
Plymstock School has been working closely with an organisation called ‘Amber Initiatives’ on the ‘Building a Stronger Britain Together’ project. Amber Initiatives is a non-profit organisation based in Plymouth with a number of core aims that include:
- To facilitate where possible, the integration of migrant workers with the host community, promoting social inclusion and community cohesion.
- To identify both beneficial and problematic issues arising from migration to the UK.
Over the last few weeks the organisation have been working with some of our Year 9 students. The aim of the project is to help build personal resilience to racism and other discrimination, as well as getting the students to have a positive sense of identity. It has also helped to support the young people to think for themselves and gain the awareness to challenge discriminatory behaviour in society when safe to do so.
The ‘Building a Stronger Britain Together’ project wants to stimulate young people to identify social problems and consequently to try and solve them. In this way, young people will be able to realise that they can change their community and influence society as a whole.
It has been clear since the Brexit vote, that hate crime against migrant communities has escalated across the country. The more recent events in Manchester and London have again highlighted the issues around faith, religion and discrimination. This is why the sensitive education of students on this issue is critically important to enable them to be fully prepared for life in modern Britain.
You will recall last week that one of the lessons I visited was Design and Technology, where students were operating as a production line to produce bespoke desk tidies. This week I was invited back by a class to be presented with my very own Plymstock-branded desk tidy. A huge thanks to the class for making it for me – it now sits proudly on my desk.
To make the desk tidies, it has required quite a lot of aluminium – which we have now run out of! A plea to all parents and staff out there – if you have any scrap aluminium at home from anything (even old window frames) could you please let Ms Pring (Head of D&T) know. Her email address is: email@example.com
Any donations would be greatly received.
We have three Year 7 students of the week today – Rhiannon Baker, Josh Cavanagh and Jack Smith. They have been acting as Student Mentors for the primary school students who have had enhanced transition visits over the last few weeks. They have been friendly, approachable and highly informative about their experiences in Year 7. In addition, they have been exceptional great tour guides. Due to their efforts, these Year 6 students feel so much more relaxed about making the transition to secondary school. Thank you to all three of you.
Ralph Hayler is our Year 8 student of the week. Ralph is an all-round great student with a highly positive attitude to learning. He always works hard, tries his best and is a brilliant ambassador for the school.
Our Year 9 winner this week is Jack Pickard-Morrish. He has been awarded this for making huge improvements over the last half term. Jack has really shown what an individual can do when they put their mind to something. Well done Jack and keep up the good work – we’re really proud of you.
Last but my no means least is our Year 10 winner – Hollie Hawken. She was nominated by two people for her exceptional application in PE throughout the year and her delightful and helpful manner in the tutor group. Well done Hollie.